The Super Tuesday is here!
It’s deadline by midnight today for the linking of National Identification Numbers (NIN) with Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) for all Nigerians who already have the NIN.
Nigeria’s Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had initially given a January 19 deadline for those with NIN and February 9 for those without NIN to link up same, but the complains have been huge. They range from long queues to NIMC officials allegedly demanding ‘tips’ before smuggling people in as well as the complexity involved in updating the NIN for those who generated theirs through their Bankers Verification Number (BVN).
Others hold the perspective that the government has been unable to properly harness the previous biometrics it’s been amassing and so, this won’t be in anyway different. For another school of thought, the federal government is afraid of how the Internet was instrumental to the #EndSARS protests and so would do anything to control it.
What is worse however, is that the heart of many have been torn between losing their SIM cards and risking their health; as news about the second wave of COVID-19 continue to flood the airwaves.
According to a Daily Trust report, about 29 million telecom users are yet to link their National Identitification Numbers to their SIM cards even as the first deadline given to subscribers expires Tuesday. And on the part of the Nigerian Communications Commission, 47.8 million National Identification Number (NINs) have so far been received from subscribers by telecom operators as at January 18.
Although the average Nigerian is known to wait until the last minute before doing the needful when it comes to registrations, verification and similar processes, this NIN palaver seem to have taken a totally different dimension.
A good number of citizens who are yet to fulfil the requirement are expectedly in panic but the over-arching message in the polity is that of nonchalance and indifference.
Would the federal government live up to its threat of disconnection to serve as deterrence to the distinguished ‘coconut heads’ or it would bow to pressure and extend the deadline?
The die is cast!
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.