The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), has expressed confidence that the much-talked-about NIN-SIM linkage policy cannot be implemented yet due to various challenges limiting the process.
BizWatch Nigeria understands that the Federal Government (FG) had mandated telecom subscribers in the country to adopt the NIN-SIM linkage policy on or before Thursday, March 31, 2022.
As the deadline elapses, there have been fears among members of the public that they would be disconnected from their telecommunications service providers, as the FG threatened to do so.
However, addressing this threat, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, the President of the NATCOMS, allayed the fear of people, saying there’s nothing to worry about considering the numerous challenges plaguing the exercise of the NIN-SIM linkage policy.
In his words, “They cannot implement the policy yet because there are so many situations why they cannot not. A lot of SIM-NIN centres have capacity challenges. There are downtime challenges too, and this has a lot of impact on the SIM-NIN registration process.
“I think what they are trying to say is that for now, there is no use extending the deadline for another three months since something else might cause another extension. What we want to hold on to is the indefinite suspension.
“A couple of days doesn’t have a timeline. If there is a date timeline, there might be an issue. But without a timeline, it is indefinite. We believe this is indefinite because there are so many network challenges that cannot just be stopped.”
The NATCOMS chief maintained that if the issues surrounding the SIM-NIN exercise don’t get resolved, the extension might take longer.
Meanwhile, as the deadline for the NIN-SIM linkage expires, no less than 77.1 million unique NIN have so far been issued to subscribers.
It is, however, pertinent to note that while many Nigerians await the next direction on the NIN-SIM exercise from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, the verification exercise, which started in December 2020 has had the deadline shifted eight times.