James Ogunnaike, ABEOKUTA
Association of SIM Card Registration Agents of Nigeria (ASAN), Ogun state chapter, has appeal to the federal government to rescind its decision on SIM cards registration services for Nigerians with National Identity Number (NIN) to have access to SIM card registration.
The Chairman of the association, Mr Mutiu Aileru made the appeal on Thursday at a press conference held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The association noted that the federal government policy to suspend the registration of new SIM cards by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) to allow for the linkages of NIN with individual’s SIM card was long overdue, calling for a review of the policy to allow Nigerians with NIN enjoy SIM registration services which include registration of new sim cards, upgrade of 2G and 3G to 4G for faster internet speed among others.
Aileru added that the policy was commendable in the face of rising insecurities across the country, but noted that it has led to the loss of income for the agents and government.
He said the decision of the government to suspend SIM card registration in the country has affected the daily survival of the SIM registration agents, as many of them are beginning to sell off personal belongings to feed daily.
He emphasized that the policy has resulted in rising cases of people’s SIM cards being removed while charging their phones, while many were frustrated from the inability to retrieve their lost or stolen phone numbers.
The group, therefore, demanded more NIN registration centres across the country to ease the stress of Nigerians in generating their NIN numbers.
According to him, mobile phone sellers have reported great dive in the number of phones sold per day, resulting from the inability to register new SIM cards for new phones.
“The policy of suspending the registration of new SIM cards by NCC to allow for the linkages of NIN with individual’s SIM card is a policy that is long overdue and as a body, we agree that it is a good policy in the face of the rising insecurities ravaging our dear motherland.
“”The policy, however, has so many multiplier effects on those of us actively employed by SIM Registration Services since it’s our own major source of livelihood”.
“As at today, it is a pity that some of our members are beginning to sell off personal belongings to have daily bread, some are in the hospital because of debts that could have been easily paid while the families of some of our members are currently separated since the man of the house can no longer put food on the table”.
“TV sets, phones, and even cars have been sold at giveaway prices because the income from SIM registration has been cut off”.
“It is on record that, over 7 million of our members across the country have been rendered jobless by the NCC’s decision to suspend SIM Card Registration, forgetting that it is our means of survival”.
“POS machine operators are also lamenting their inability to expand their businesses since every POS machine make use of SIM cards before it can function well.
“As an association, we believe that since some Nigerians already have their NIN, they should be allowed to carry out SIM registration services and that forms the basis of our demand which is restore SIM registration services.”