With millions of Nigerians thrown into a state of panic and thronging The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) centres following the Federal Government’s directive to block all unregistered mobile telephone lines, experts have projected a further extension of the National Identity Number (NIN) registration deadline beyond April.
Plagued with operational challenges, the registration exercise which was recently extended by eight weeks, has been criticized by many Nigerians who believe its implementation was not well thought through.
Experts surveyed by Culture Intelligence from RED, a leading think tank on media, marketing, and the culture, envisage another deadline extension due to identified impediments in the system.
“There have been more than four extensions so far, but that’s not the issue,” says a tech industry expert, and member of the Culture Intelligence from RED national focus group. “The main problem is that those yet to get their NINs are in the millions, and the App that should have made things easier is not working. In addition, the telecom industry can only thrive when people are buying recharge cards, subscribing for data, and making calls. So the government cannot afford to take risks in the middle of an economic recession.”
Experts expressed their lack of confidence in the government to fully complete the registration exercise within the timeframe it has set for itself.
“So far, active telecom subscribers have fallen by over 3 million phone numbers. I project that there will be another extension after April because, considering the current pace of registrations, it is apparent that we cannot register over 40 million phone subscribers in eight weeks,” the expert added.
According to the downloadable report released weekly by the consulting think-tank, over 80 percent of Nigerians surveyed from across the country scored the government low on its handling of the NIN registration.
Culture Intelligence from RED supports companies, governments, and change makers with data-backed insight for evidence-based decision-making. It aggregates the ideas, opinions, and behaviours of consumers to solve problems and identify opportunities for growth.