SIM card registration along side COVID-19 second wave

Following the announcement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) mid-December 2020 for an implementation of new SIM registration rules. which was done to improve the integrity and transparency of SIM registration process.

But this coming at the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, has set panics in the heart of some citizens. this is because the thought of having to queue, be captured and registered by NIMC sends jitters down the spine of helpless Nigerians.

To some Nigerians who are yet to obtain their NIN, the first shock was the two-week deadline given for the exercise. The deadline was bound to engender a rush to NIMC outlets with the attendant stampede, and most dangerously, the impossibility of social and physical distancing. Mercifully, the NCC has extended the deadline to block SIM cards not integrated with NIN to February 9, 2021. But the rush has not abated, as seen in the huge crowd that characterised NIN centres across the country.

Nevertheless the deadline is still too short, given the tedious process and enormous grounds yet to be covered, as most persons demands for more flexible deadline, because they believe the SIM registration cannot be done without breaking COVID-19 protocols put in place by the same government through the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). And if citizens break the protocols without being reined in by the law, they may not avoid the medical consequences of a spike in infection rate, possible deaths and disruption of livelihoods. Surely there must be safer way to achieve NIN-SIM harmonisation.