Former Senator Shehu Sani has lambasted the Federal Government for “failing to effectively manage” a central database linking information of all Nigerians.
Sani said while the government is asking citizens to update their SIM card registration with their National Identification Number, those whose data have been captured in the official database have become targets of kidnappers.
On Tuesday, the Nigerian Communications Commission directed telecommunications companies to block SIM cards not registered with NIN.
NCC said the submission of NIN by subscribers will continue until December 30, 2020, after which “all SIMs without NIN are to be blocked from the networks.”
Nigerians have, however, criticised the move, arguing that the notice is too short and that similar steps had been taken in the past.
Among the instances they cited include the national driver licence, which requires data capturing before being issued; likewise the international passport and bank verification number (BVN).
Sani, while alluding to the worsening insecurity in Nigeria, tweeted via his Twitter handle that kidnappers are recapturing those previously captured through various means.
Although the NCC did not disclose the reason for the SIM update, some people have described it as a necessary step towards curbing crime.
But Sani insisted that the individuals, whose data have already been captured through various means, still remained unsafe.
“They capture with BVN, Capture with SIM, Capture with the Card reader, Capture National ID, Capture with Drivers Licence, Capture with E-Passport, Capture with Npower, Capture with NIN, Capture with NHIS and the kidnappers are still capturing those that were captured,” he wrote.
Another Twitter user, however, faulted Sani’s argument, saying updating one’s SIM card with NIN would assist in tracing its original owner.
The user tweeting via @ButerlaM wrote: “Kidnappers and terrorists have hundreds of Simcard registered in the black market. Hence tracing them becomes impossible. If the SIM card is connected to your NIN. The original owner can be traced at a later date. The implementation is wrong but the idea is perfect.”