Hundreds of citizens have called out the Nigerian government to halt the mandatory National Identification Number (NIN) registration process until the coronavirus pandemic is hugely contained.
Several photos have also surfaced online of a large crowd of Nigerians who had converged at the office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Lagos to carry out their NIN registration at a time when the government has also placed a ban on large gatherings.
Following the earlier directive issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the suspension of new SIM card registration by network operators, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami last week issued a fresh directive that makes it compulsory for all SIM cards to be linked to National Identity Number (NIN).
The minister gave telecoms operators two weeks to link subscribers’ registered SIM cards on their networks to their NIN, which is currently being issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The new directive further stated that the submission of NIN by subscribers must take place within two weeks from today December 16, 2020, and end by December 30, 2020.
It also stated that after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
But Nigerians have taken to Twitter to condemn the move and kicked against the large gatherings as a result of the rush to beat the deadline.
Here are some of the tweets from the microblogging and social networking service:
Lagos Govt arrested people at Cubana on Sat because of Covid 19 but are okay with Thousands queueing at NIMC office to get NIN as they have bribed Covid to go on Xmas Hols. This could have been done Digitally but God Forbid NG does something Healthy even in a Pandemic.
@FMoCDENigeria, here is a picture of Lagosians at NIMC center this morning in a period when we have a second wave of Covid-19. Can you please halt this mandatory NIN registration process at least till after the pandemic or setup a digital platform?
your website is not opening, your centres are jammed with crowd seeking to register for the #NIN and the list of accredited agents is inaccessible. Your spokesman Kayode Adegoke assured #Nigerians on radio today that the site was active. Please get your IT people on it.
NIMC office Alausa today!
Why do the oppressors hate us like this?
The oppressors commanded — go and catch Covid-19 and die!
Why must you obey them?
Me — I refuse to heed the command of death IJN Folded hands
By Abel Ejikeme