Since December 2020, the FG has put a lockdown on the purchase, registration and activation of new SIM cards in the country. This was done to enable the citizens get their NIN done and link to their SIM cards. The government has since extended the given deadline by two months but that is not sitting down well with everyone.
On the part of the users themselves, it is now impossible to retrieve important SIM cards used for business which might have been lost or damaged within these months. Even though there is an uptick in the number of citizens who now have their NIN, the FG is saying nothing about lifting the sales restriction soon.
Unfortunately, the people are not the only ones feeling the brunt of this move.
Telcos have also lost a cumulative NGN10 billion or more between December 2020 and February 2021 alone on the back of the inactive lines which they have on their books. At an average of NGN1,420 revenue per SIM user and considering the 7.6 million inactive lines within that timeframe, the financial figures are not a far stretch.
SIM losses and need for reactivation will continue happening in the coming months and it is estimated that these telcos could lose more than they have already had to weather.
The FG should find a balance soon so that everyone – both the businesses and their customers – can come out with a happy ending amid all these.