Mixed Reactions As FG Bars 2.2m Mobile Lines 

BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Mixed reactions have continued to trail the Federal Government’s decision to block about 2,277,311 mobile telephone lines across the country over registration’s infringements
Some of the blocked Sim cards owners who thronged various telecomms operators offices in Abuja, the nation capital desperately seeking to regularise their sim registration were all pleas that government should further extend grace period for the exercise.
Citing lack of adequate information, poor sensitization and demanding work schedules among other issues for their inability to beat the September 25 deadline, they distressed telephone lines owners said another extension of time would enable them resolve the improper registration challenges.
But other respondents who spoke with Frontfront on the disconnected lines and barred Sims said government should not be blamed for taking such drastic measures given the growing cases of insecurity in the country.
According to them, Nigerians should not only be talking and lamenting about worrying security challenges but be ready to cooperate and support government’s efforts at addressing them.
A statement by the Federal Ministry of Communications had on Saturday disclosed that over 2.2 million phone lines have been disconnected and barred because all the affected sim cards were not properly registered by the respective telecommunications companies.
According to the statement, the affected telephone lines were among the 9.2 million lines which the authorities identified earlier in the month as having issues with their registration.
Signed by Deputy Director/Head Information, Press and PR Unit of the Ministry, Mrs Philomena Oshodin, the statement said 6,830,249 of the lines were revalidated by September 25, which the government had set as deadline for regularisation of all telephone lines.
With the ultimatum expiring, all the telephone lines were deactivated following a directive issued by the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)
The statement said in Abuja that “Pantami has reiterated the need for all improperly registered SIM cards to remain blocked until they are properly registered.”
He further directed that profiles of individuals “linked to crime, aided and abetted by the use of SIM cards, should be promptly provided to the relevant security agencies when requested”.
This is even as the Minister demanded that copies of such information should also be sent to his office for effective monitoring of the process.
He however praised the Commission and all telecoms operators in the country for working round the clock to effectively execute the directive in record time.

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