SIM Blocking: Reps Ask NCC To Extend Deadline On New Regulation By 10 Weeks

House of Reps

The House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to extend the deadline for disconnecting of any SIM card not registered with the National Identity Number (NIN) by network operators to 10 weeks.

The House lauds the intention of the NCC but wants the process to be extended considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in attaining the NIN.

In a resolution passed by the House in Abuja on Wednesday, it said the deadline should be February 28, 2021 to give subscribers adequate time to meet up the requirement.

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The NCC had on Tuesday set a deadline of December 16 to December 30 for subscribers to upgrade their registration with network operators by linking it to their National Identification Number (NIN).

It warned that subscribers who failed to meet the requirement within the deadline would have their lines blocked.

But the House, which was presided over by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, observed that it would be impossible for Nigerians to meet up with the requirement within two weeks.

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Following a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu, the lawmakers resolved that the deadline should be extended to 10 weeks to terminate on February 28, 2021.

Making a case for the extension, Elumelu, a Peoples Democratic Party member from Delta State, noted that, “Millions of subscribers will be disconnected and this will lead to untold hardships for Nigerians this Christmas.

“It will be almost impossible for Nigerians, over 200million of them, and the majority for having no NIN, to register for NIN with the National Identity Management Commission, and again submit the NIN to network operators, all within two weeks.

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“While we are not against the registration requirement, we are saying that NCC should extend the two weeks deadline.”

However, it was the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, who amended the motion to indicate an extension of 10 weeks before the House passed it by a unanimous vote.

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