Subscribers count losses as FG’s directive to bar lines subsists

By AdvocateNews on 08/04/2022

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Telecommunication subscribers whose telephone lines have been barred due to their inability to link their numbers to a National Identity Number (NIN) have been counting their losses since Monday when the federal government gave a directive to that effect.

About 72 million subscribers have been barred from using their lines, and as a result, many subscribers, especially business owners who use their phone numbers for commercial activities, and who have not linked them to a NIN have been counting their losses.

A subscriber with Airtel, Kamsi Chukwu, who owns a fast food joint in Garki, Abuja, said he couldn’t reach his clients for confirmation of orders, hence that he had not made any significant delivery since the enforcement of the directive.

He said, “I have not been able to contact my clients and the delivery people to send food across because from Tuesday I have not been able to make any outgoing call. To make matters worse, I have not been able to do anything at the Airtel office because the crowd is massive and it’s frustrating. My business is suffering, I have lost almost N100, 000 in these two days.”

A subscriber with MTN, Aisha Muhammad, in Jabi District of the FCT, who specialises in online skin care products, lamented how her business had been suffering.

She said, “I sell skin care products online, and my main business line has been barred from outgoing calls. For the past two days I cannot reach my clients to verify pending orders.

“It is frustrating that I am losing money, and because of the impromptu directive by the federal government, the entire telecommunication officers are choked with affected subscribers. I am confused and don’t know what to do,” adding that, “Even the *785# code that I saw as the number for self-help has not been going through.”

Aisha further, therefore, appealed to the federal government to extend the date for the linkage so that businesses won’t suffer further.

Meanwhile, checks have shown that affected subscribers still access the internet, send SMS and receive calls.

A telecom user with MTN, Naniet Joseph, said she still used her phone to access the internet and receive calls.

She said, “I woke up this morning to make a call but realised it didn’t go through, I tried severally to reach different persons but it wasn’t connecting. It was later I was told that the federal government has barred lines not linked to a NIN. But as we chat, I use my phone to browse normally, receive calls and also send SMS.”

Another subscriber with Globacom, Sani Aliyu, said he did other things with hiss phone aside outgoing calls.

He said, “I can use my phone to do anything aside outgoing calls, and it’s frustrating. In my own case, I don’t even have a national identity card. I tried getting one last year but the two centres I went to were so rowdy,” adding that, “To access the venue of the registration with this development is another kettle of fish.”

It was observed a crowd at the headquarters of NIMC who want to enroll for the NIN.

Meanwhile, not only subscribers are suffering from the recent hammer of the federal government, as telecommunication companies are also counting revenue losses. It is estimated that the losses will run into billions of naira as the companies rely on the sales of airtime for revenue.  

Posted 08/04/2022 06:55:46 AM


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