“In step with the Federal Authorities need to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration train of September 2019, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economic system, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has directed the Nigerian Communications Fee (NCC) to embark on one other audit of the Subscriber Registration Database once more.
“The target of the audit train is to confirm and guarantee compliance by Cellular Community Operators with the set high quality requirements and necessities of SIM Card Registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economic system and the Fee.
“Accordingly, Cellular Community Operators (MNOs) are hereby directed to instantly droop the sale, registration and activation of latest SIM Playing cards till the audit train is concluded, and Authorities has conveyed the brand new route.
“MNOs are to please be aware that non-compliance with this directive will likely be met with strict sanctions, together with the potential of withdrawal of working license.”
With the above press assertion from the Nigeria Communications Fee (NCC), on December 9, 2020, the Federal Authorities suspended the sale, registration and activation on new cell telephony Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) playing cards within the nation.
Although the NCC stated within the assertion that the transfer was to hold out an audit of subscribers registration database, it additionally made the linking of the Nationwide Identification Quantity (NIN) obligatory for Nigerians to proceed to take pleasure in companies from telecoms service suppliers.
The suspension was broadly criticised by Nigerians throughout board, particularly with the push for NIN registration, which uncovered Nigerians to the hazard of contracting the dreaded COVID-19 virus, which on the time newly entered its second wave.
Nigerians have been every day regaled with photographs of 1000’s of individuals on the workplaces and different registration centres of the Nationwide Identification Administration Fee (NIMC), elevating fears that the nation might witness a monumental enhance within the every day variety of optimistic instances being recorded within the nation.
Nonetheless, past the fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, some Nigerians are involved in regards to the financial implications of the suspension which they claimed was impacting negatively than most Nigerians are conscious.
Based on consultants, the suspension of the sale, registration and activation of latest SIM playing cards has far higher implications for the financial system, employment and even safety than most Nigerians presently respect.
Main the cost within the financial losses occasioned by the suspension is the lack of jobs and enterprise alternatives by a number of thousands and thousands of younger Nigerians who every day rely upon oblique jobs and companies related to the telecoms sector, consultants have opined.
Recall that younger Nigerians had previous to the present growth arrange at strategic locations in cities and cities promoting and registering cell SIM playing cards. This had helped scores of younger folks to remain off the unemployment circle, as Cellular Community Operators (MNOs) subcontracted the sale and registration of latest SIM playing cards to outfit the younger folks work for.
However business ‘’watchers’’ imagine that with the suspension, these younger Nigerians have gone again to the labour market, and plenty of most likely to the ‘’circumstances they prayed they by no means went to once more.’’
To drive the message dwelling correctly, telecoms sellers within the Northern a part of the nation just lately lamented that about two million younger Nigerians have been rendered jobless because of the suspension coverage of the Federal Authorities.
The sellers underneath the auspices of the Arewa Telecom Operators Brokers and Simcard Sellers Affiliation (ATOASDA), had stated at a press briefing in Kaduna that the suspension and the attendant lack of two million jobs have grave implications that will additional compound the safety challenges the nation is dealing with.
Hassan Yakubu, the President of the affiliation stated: “We’re totally in help of the FG measures to guard the lives and properties of the citizenry.
“Nonetheless, the federal authorities should thread rigorously contemplating that, all obtainable analysis works on the causes of insecurity throughout the nation have been linked primarily to youth unemployment.”
Yakubu additionally famous that the revenue of telecoms enterprise companions, workers and the brokers, who’re predominantly younger Nigerians, depended largely on the variety of activations /SIM registration carried out inside the month.
He stated additional: “The suspension of SIM card registration might set off one other worse type of insecurity particularly in zones most affected by the insecurity. In actual fact, the expansion within the Telecom sector is decided by the very sub-sector that was suspended and the a lot celebrated 17% contribution by Telecom sector on the GDP was because of the actions of the sub-sector underneath suspension.
“We, subsequently, want to advise that, the Federal Authorities can nonetheless obtain the specified consequence in addition to keep away from creating extra issues in an try to unravel an issue if the suspension is revised instantly to keep away from the hazard the suspension might expose the youth.”
Based on consultants, authorities didn’t assume via the implications the suspension of the SIM sale, registration and activation would have earlier than embarking on the coverage.
A coverage analyst, Mr. Shogo Adeyemi, in a chat with DAILY POST, argued that the suspension of latest SIM card sale, registration and activation was ill-advised.
Based on him, authorities ought to have seemed on the massive variety of younger Nigerians which might be concerned on this telecoms sub-sector earlier than implementing the coverage and the implications of pushing them again to the streets.
“Earlier than the suspension ordered by the federal authorities via the NCC, it was frequent data to see younger Nigerians at each main enterprise hub, bus stops and avenue corners, hawking new SIM playing cards and in addition registering new subscribers with tools equipped by the MNOs. These younger folks have been making ends meet each day. With this, they have been in a position to present for themselves and no matter dependants they could have. Nonetheless, the suspension put an abrupt cease to their technique of livelihood, a state of affairs that should have visited untold hardships on them and their dependents.
“Apart the financial implications of the lack of these jobs and enterprise alternatives, as many of those younger folks have been really entrepreneurs, there are additionally the attendant safety implications, which authorities will not be taking a look at. It’s good you need to audit the subscriber database and hyperlink NIN to the SIMs, however authorities by no means considered the implications of taking away the livelihoods of thousands and thousands of younger Nigerians. They failed to understand the position the sub-sector has performed in taking many youths away from the streets and from crime and different vices. Stripped of the prospect of constructing a residing legally, a few of these folks might don’t have any possibility than to take to crime”, Adeyemi stated.
When DAILY POST visited some areas in Lagos, they have been hitherto main hubs for the sale and registration of SIM playing cards in Lagos, it was found that none of those that supplied such companies was on floor, besides those that additionally offered recharge playing cards as a part of the enterprise. For locations like Ikeja Bus Cease, Laptop Village in Ikeja, Berger Bus Cease and Ojota Bus Cease, it was not enterprise as ordinary.
Nonetheless, an IT Guide, Mr. Tunde Sosina, argued that although it’s not enterprise as ordinary on the locations that served as main hubs in time previous, it stays the standard for MNOs, who he stated have continued to register new SIMs at their workplaces.
Based on Sosina, a discreet go to to the workplaces of the MNOs, particularly their gross sales and customer support centres, anybody prepared to get a brand new SIM card will get it.
“It’s true that the girls and boys who have been offering the companies, gross sales, registration and activation of latest SIMs are longer on the road however that doesn’t say new playing cards are usually not being offered, registered and activated. It has solely moved away from the streets to the workplaces and that’s the reality”, Sosina stated.
On allegations that the suspension of the sale, registration and activation of latest cell strains has affected the issuance of latest electrical energy pay as you go meters, Sosina stated that’s removed from the reality.
“Cellular phone strains or SIM playing cards don’t have anything to do with electrical energy pay as you go meters. What pay as you go meter makes use of is a generic SIM whereas cellphones use generic and what the federal government suspended is the one for cellphones. I’ve seen a few folks argue this on-line, however that’s definitely from a place of ignorance, because the suspension has nothing to do with pay as you go meters.
“In fact, persons are nonetheless getting their meters. A pal of mine acquired his and it was put in within the month of January and plenty of extra persons are doing the identical, particularly underneath the federal authorities’s free pay as you go meters scheme,’’ he stated.
Talking additional on how the suspension had affected the automotive monitoring enterprise within the nation, Mr. Sosina stated it’s a 50-50 state of affairs, and the implication of the suspension on the sector will not be solid in gold.
Based on him, if a automotive proprietor desires to put in a tracker on his automotive utilizing his present quantity, then he can go forward and try this with out hindrance.
“Utilizing your previous or present quantity on your automotive tracker is feasible with none hindrance however if you would like a brand new devoted quantity, there’s the place the problem is. Besides you belong to the group of those who circumvent the system, you could have to attend till the suspension is lifted.”
The IT guide, nonetheless, believes that those that subscribe to complete insurance coverage coverage for the automotive could also be extra hit by the impact of the suspension on the automotive monitoring enterprise.
Based on him, when the monitoring comes as a part of the package deal out of your insurers, a brand new devoted quantity could also be insisted on, which formally for now will not be obtainable.
“Insurance coverage corporations are anticipated to insist on a devoted new quantity on your tracker underneath regular circumstances, which can pose a significant impediment in the meanwhile. So the suspension equally has its implications for the automotive monitoring enterprise, simply because it does on another areas and never simply on employment,” Sosina submitted, admitting, nonetheless, that the coverage, if effectively carried out has far higher benefits for the safety of the nation.