SIM Registration Deadline: Subscribers Besiege Registration Centres

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Barely two days to the deadline for SIM registration, subscribers on Monday besieged registration centres in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Checks by NAN at some registration centres in Surulere, Ojuelegba and Costain areas revealed long queues of subscribers waiting to register their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM).

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has given all telecom subscribers up till September 28 to register their SIMs or be delisted from their networks. Miss Roseline Okechukwu, a registration officer at the MTN centre in Bode Thomas, Surulere, told NAN that there had been unusual large turn-out of subscribers in the last few days.

Okechukwu said that hundreds of subscribers had been thronging the centre daily to register in the last few months.

“There has been a two-fold increase on the number of daily registrations which has jumped from an average of 200 to an average of 400 daily,” Okechukwu said.

She said that there was the need for NCC to extend the registration exercise till December, adding that the six months was too short considering the population of the country.

The situation was the same at a Globacom registration centre at Ojuelegba, also in Surulere.

Mr. John Adeboye, who manned the registration centre, told NAN that more subscribers were visiting the centre in the last few days. “More Nigerians have shown interest in the exercise but I wouldn’t know whether the two days left would be enough to register all subscribers on the network,” he said

Adeboye said all subscribers would have been captured if as many subscribers were visiting the centres when the exercise started about six months ago.

“We are ready to work as long as people are ready to register their SIM cards,” he said.

Mr. Isaac Anyiam at the Airtel registration centre at Bode Thomas, Surulere, blamed subscribers’ low-out for the poor start of the exercise.

Anyiam said that the turnout was not impressive at the start of the registration exercise.

Long queues were also noticed at the Etisalat registration centre in Costain, Ebute-Metta.

Some subscribers, who spoke with NAN, urged the NCC to extend the deadline to enable all subscribers register.

NAN reports that NCC started the second phase of the registration exercise in March, 2011.

Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said that the commission took the initiative for security purposes.

Juwah said that the manner mobile phones were being acquired and used without proper identification was one of the causes of increased criminal activities nationwide.