On Wednesday, a huge number of telecommunication subscribers were frustrated as heavy traffic on telecom networks held down the process of linking their National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module.
This comes after the Federal Government, through telecom firms, prevented Nigerians from making calls who had not linked their SIMs and NINs.
After the deadline for the SIM-NIN verification exercise expired on March 31, the Federal Government directed telecom providers to ban outbound calls on all unlinked lines.
The measure was made to ensure that the Federal Government’s SIM-NIN policy was followed.
Subscribers hurried to link their SIMs and NINs on Wednesday, clogging up telecom service centers.
However, owing of the network’s poor speed, service centers were unable to assist many stranded Nigerians.
The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers had requested that the Federal Government extend the NIN-SIM policy deadline by three months.
If the Federal Government does not consider extending the implementation of the SIM-NIN policy by three months, according to the association’s President, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, telecom service centers would continue to see an increase in human traffic.
“I was at the service centers today, and they were jammed,” Ogunbanjo said. All of the network operations centers were overburdened.
“People were expressing their dissatisfaction with their inability to make outgoing calls.” The SIM-implementation NIN’s is a problem. NIMC, once again, lacks the necessary capacity to handle enormous amounts of data.
“This is a life-or-death situation. The (enrolment) centers were all grumbling about how slow the connection procedure was moving. The crowd is expanding, and because the network is currently slow, they can only accomplish so much in a single day. This is regrettable. We are requesting a three-month extension at the very least.
“Now that the regulation has been adopted, Nigerians understand why they can’t make calls if their SIMs aren’t linked. There will be no more phone calls. It is time for the administration to take a step back and extend the deadline by three months before implementing.”
On Wednesday, Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, claimed that the number of users attempting to link their SIMs and NINs had increased.
“There’s been a lot of strain at various experience centers,” he said. The systems have also been under a lot of strain.
“There have been a lot of public complaints made to our various contact centers, so it appears that the heat is coming to all of us at this moment.”
“Unfortunately, we’ve been on this for fourteen months — many customers did not react to calls to link their SIM to their NIN, so we’re stuck.”
125 million SIMs have submitted their NINs for linking, according to the government. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission’s website, there were 197.77 million active telecom users in February 2022.
Approximately 72.77 million active telecom consumers are now experiencing SIM-NIN connection troubles.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking telecom sector source indicated that, despite the fact that telecom providers have submitted the SIM and NIN information of over 125 million users, the NIMC is having trouble integrating the majority of the data.
According to the source, most users were experiencing trouble linking their SIMs and NINs together due to an increase in linkage request volume.
“The process of attaching SIMs to NINs may be slower today,” the insider stated. This is due to the process’s built-in capacity being exceeded. The capacity is insufficient. It wasn’t made for this kind of hurry.
“In terms of the NIMC’s capacity, nothing has changed. There are still obstacles to overcome. People who only want to get their NIN done will likely be trapped because the NIMC is also doing NIN. It’s NIMC’s fault if the network is slow. NIMC currently lacks the necessary capacity to fully link SIMs.
“The NIMC lacks the capacity to synchronize NINs and SIMs as well.” The NIMC is in charge of NIN, and we are in charge of SIMs. When you look at the value chain, you’ll notice that telcos have linked the NINs that subscribers provide, but there’s a difficulty when we hand it over to the NIMC to integrate into their system. They haven’t been able to accomplish this. They are attempting to do so, but their capacity is insufficient. To execute these things, they’ll require stronger servers and networks.”
After a technical failure in the NIMC’s computers grounded SIM-NIN-related services in February, numerous telecom subscribers were stuck across the country.
The concerns were resolved in about a week by NIMC. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, revealed in February that NIMC had infrastructural, wage, and welfare issues, among other issues.
He claimed that the government was having difficulty paying staff and putting in place mechanisms to assist the panel in completing its work.
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