Emergency NIN Registration Will Escalate COVID-19 Second Wave, Nigerians Say

File Photo: Nigerians queuing to register for the national identity card at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Alausa, Ikeja.
File Photo: Nigerians queuing to register for the national identity card at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Alausa, Ikeja.

Nigerians have expressed worry over the short timeline given by the Federal Government over the sudden decision to get the SIM cards synchronised with the National Identity Number by December 30.

Most people noted that such a move would compromise the COVID-19 safety protocols and escalate the already rising cases in the dreaded second wave of the pandemic.

File Photo: Nigerians queuing to register for the national identity card at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Alausa, Ikeja.


The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, had on Monday issued an order that SIM cards be synchronised with a valid National Identity Number by December 30 or they would be disconnected.

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He had directed the network operators to disconnect SIM cards not synchronised with NIN, thereby forcing citizens to get registered within a short frame of two weeks. 

On social media, while some Nigerians lament the processes involved in getting registered for NIN and how they would compromise the COVID-19 protocols, others worry about the plights of foreigners who could not get registered in the timeframe.

Here are the reactions below:

King_Moles @oluomole7 tweeted, “We have an analogue government in a digital age. A government that does its own things in reverse. Other countries of the world are doing all to prevent citizens from coming out because of the COVID pandemic. Ours is saying you must come out to get NIN. Whatever happened to BVN?”

Ezino Edward @Anyagu said, “That is the implication, not only foreigners but majority of the citizens as well will be deprived of communication. The time frame for registration is so short coupled with the rush that you will see at NIM centers when there is the second wave of COVID.”

Emmy @igwebullion said, “My friend came into the country some days ago…we went to the mtn office in Kubwa to register a sim for him but we were told that all network providers were given a directive to stop sim registration till further notice.”

Fabian. A @leyealabi, in a thread, lambasted the government stating that the weightier options should be considered,

“What does this have to do with the dire economic situation? With the hundreds of kidnapped boys? If you can’t move the country forward, leave it where it is. Seems like a conscious effort to draw us backwards, do they even think at all?

“In this pandemic you want a population of 200million plus to physically update their SIM cards under 2 weeks. This same urgency goes missing when it’s time to prosecute recalcitrant SARS officials or rescue the kidnapped schoolchildren.”

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Original Author

SaharaReporters, New York

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