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Members of the Association of SIM Registration Agents of Nigeria (ASAN) in Ogun state have cried out to the Federal government and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) over the suspension of SIM card registrations in the country.
The members, whose services include registration of new SIM cards, upgrade of SIM cards and retrieval of lost or stolen SIM cards said that they have been denied their means of livelihood as a result of the suspension and are almost losing their lives.
The Nigerian Communication Commission had in December 2020 announced suspension of SIM registrations to allow linkages of NIN with individual’s SIM cards.
Speaking through the state acting Chairman of ASAN, Mutiu Ailero, at a press briefing, the association claimed that over 10,000 of its members have been rendered jobless in the past two months.
A communiqué issued by the association which lauded the policy however noted that both the government and the citizens are at the losing ends of the suspension.
It said members of the association can no longer afford their daily needs and have had to sell their property.
The communiqué read in parts, “We cannot register new SIM cards neither can we upgrade customers from 2G and 3G TO 4G just as we cannot help Nigerians whose SIM cards have been stolen or retrieve their lost numbers as was our duties before now.
“…The policy, however, has so many multiplier effects on those of us actively employed by SIM Registration Services since it’s our own major source of livelihood. As at today, it is a pity that some of our members are beginning to sell off personal belonging to have daily bread, some are in the hospital because of debts that could have been easily paid while the families of some of our members are currently separated since the man of the house can no longer put food on the table. TV sets, phones and even cars have been sold at giveaway prices because the income from SIM Registration has been cut off.
“You will therefore agree with me that our mental and economic activities have been greatly affected by this policy, we are dying economically. The Policy, though good and applaudable has therefore led to the loss of income for both our members and the government and should be looked into.
While calling the attention of the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Patami to look into the plight of the SIM Agents, Ailero said members of the association can be co-opted to ensure continuation of registration services using customers’ NIN.