• Millions of Nigerians may have their sim cards disconnected when the remaining two-week ultimatum elapse
•NIMC workers begins strike
• NCC in December 2020 gave two-week ultimatum to telecom service providers to block phone numbers without NIN
Millions of Nigerians may have their sim cards disconnected when the remaining two-week ultimatum given to mobile phone users by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) elapse.
Some Nigerians, especially applicants in Alausa, Lagos office of the Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), leave their houses as early as 4:00 am to pick queue numbers to be registered for their NIN when NIMC officials resume duty by 9:00 am.
Hundreds of applicants on Thursday were locked outside NIMC premises in Lagos after the staff downed tools over the non-provision of welfare packages and exposure to COVID-19.
President of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor in a notice directed the staff of the government agency to commence strike action.
“Consequent upon the just concluded congress that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020, and do nothing,” Micheal and Victor said in the notice.
“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as a task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance with the directive.”
Two weeks ultimatum
NCC in December 2020 gave a two-week ultimatum to telecom service providers to block phone numbers without NIN. Failure to link their sim cards to NIN by Tuesday, February 9, will result in disconnection of their phone lines, according to the directive by NCC. Tele coms operators who do not disconnect such phone numbers also risk revocation of their operational license.
With millions of Nigerians aspiring to fulfill the requirement, the registration centres have been overcrowded – in violation of COVID-19 protocol of social distancing – while Nigeria continues to experience a spike in daily COVID-19 figures.
The staff union said some NIMC officials have tested positive to the virus and will not risk losing any of their members of the pandemic because “safety of staff should be prioritised.” Staff members were infected with COVID-19 and adequate measures have not been taken to curtail the sprea.