Suspension Of SIM Card Registration Makes 2m Youth Jobless – Telecom Dealers

TECH DIGEST – Telecom dealers in the North have said that about 2 million Nigerian youths were rendered jobless, allegedly by the suspension of 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 journalists in Kaduna on Monday, that, they were aware of the Federal Government’s intention to address security challenges through linkage of National Identity Number NIN with mobile numbers and suspension of new Sim cards registration.

The telecom operators, however, expressed fear that, rendering 2 million youth jobless might worsen the security challenges.

President of the telecom operators, Hassan Yakubu said, as a registered association under corporate affairs commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with registration number CAC/IT/NO131761 and with Nigeria communications commission volume number as NCC/CAB/2019/VOL.1/011, “we are fully in support of FG measures to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry.”

“However, the federal government must trade carefully considering that, all available research works on the causes of insecurity across the country have been linked primarily to youth unemployment,” he said

According to him, the income of the telecoms business partners, staff and the agents, majority of whom are within the age bracket of 20 to 40 years in the value chain, was determined by the number of activations /SIM registration carried out within the month.

Yakubu said, “the suspension of SIM card registration may trigger another worse form of insecurity especially in zones most affected by the insecurity. In fact, the growth in the Telecom sector is determined by the very sub-sector that was suspended and the much celebrated 17% contribution by Telecom sector on the GDP was as a result of the activities of the sub-sector under suspension.”

“We therefore wish to advise that, the Federal Government can still achieve the desired result as well as avoid creating more problems in an attempt to solve a problem if the suspension is revised immediately to avoid the danger the suspension may expose the youth.”

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

“We also suggest that, the SIM Cards sale, registrations and activations should be allowed to continue, while an average of 10 new NIN machines be deployed in every local government in the 774 local governments of the federation for a better reach.”

“That no new SIM Card should be allowed to synchronize without the support of NIN number and ID card until the SIM Card and NIN number pairing is concluded, he said.