Tuesday, January 19, 2021

SIM card registration suspension leaves 2 million young people unemployed

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File: A representative sample of Nigerians register their SIM cards in Lagos, recently. Photo: Bunmi Azeez.

… They say that development can cause restlessness in young people

By Ibrahim HassanWuyo

Telecommunications distributors in the north have said that around 2 million young Nigerians were left without work, allegedly due to the suspension of the sale, registration and activation of SIM cards by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Arewa Telecom Operators Agents and Simcard Dealers Association (ATOASDA), told reporters in Kaduna on Monday, that they were aware of the Federal Government’s intention to address security challenges by linking the National Identity Number NIN with the numbers of mobile phones and the suspension of the registration of new SIM cards. .

Telecom operators, however, expressed fear that putting 2 million young people out of work could worsen security challenges.

Telecom Operators Chairman Hassan Yakubu said, as a registered association under the corporate affairs commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the registration number CAC / IT / NO131761 and with the volume number of the communications commission of Nigeria as NCC / CAB / 2019 / VOL.1 / 011, “We fully support FG’s measures to protect the lives and property of citizens”.

“However, the federal government must trade with caution considering that all available research work on the causes of insecurity across the country has been primarily related to youth unemployment,” he said.

According to him, the income of telecom business partners, staff and agents, most of whom are within the age range of 20 to 40 years in the value chain, was determined by the number of activations / registrations. of SIMs made during the month. .

Yakubu said, “Suspension of SIM card registration can trigger another worse form of insecurity, especially in the areas most affected by insecurity. In fact, the growth of the Telecom sector is determined by the same subsector that was suspended and the much celebrated contribution of 17% of the Telecom sector to GDP was the result of the activities of the suspended subsector ”.

“Therefore, we wish to warn that the Federal Government can still achieve the desired result and avoid creating further problems in an attempt to resolve a problem if the suspension is immediately reviewed to avoid the danger that the suspension may expose the youth.”

“We suggest that all existing SIM cards should be paired with NIN numbers within a stipulated time, while an average of three months should be allowed for smooth and effective pairing.”

“We also suggest that SIM card sales, registrations and activations be allowed to continue, while an average of 10 new NIN machines are rolled out in each local government in the federation’s 774 local governments for better outreach.”

“No new SIM card should be allowed to sync without the support of the NIN number and identification card until the pairing of the SIM card and the NIN number is completed,” he said.

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