Right call, wrong timing – The Nation Newspaper



WITH the escalating threat of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we must ask if tight timelines imposed by government for telecoms subscribers to link their National Identity Number (NIN) with their phone lines is wise at a time like this.

Nigeria has recorded consecutive case counts of more than 1,000 new infections daily in the last one week, with many notable persons reported dead of Covid-19 complications. That, obviously, is not taking account of non-notable victims. Meanwhile, in apparent bid to curb the use of telecoms facilities for criminal exploits, government had directed all operators to block phone lines on their networks not linked to subscribers’ NIN by 30th December, last year. Following public outcry, it granted a three-week extension for subscribers already having their NIN till 19th January, 2021, and six-week extension for subscribers yet to obtain the NIN till 9th February. Still, the threat of imminent…

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