US News Millions of Nigerians at risk of having their telephone line suspended

07:20  24 january  2021
07:20  24 january  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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"If I don't have my phone , I don't make money," said Raphael Ajih, resting on a rusty metal chair, his hands clenched on his lap. A unique number for each person, which in turn will unlock their national ID card, will help to smooth out problems in policy-making and budget planning, the government says.

Nigerians queue to obtain the precious National Identity Number -- without it, their mobile phone may be cut off He has already tried twice to enrol but was taken aback by the throngs of people, many not wearing The number of active phone subscriptions in Nigeria is 208 million . Due to the difficulties

Les Nigérians doivent relier leur ligne téléphonie avec un numéro d'identité national. © Will Boase / Bloomberg via Getty Images Nigerians must link their telephone line with a national identity number.

Nigerians have until February 9 to link their SIM card number to a national ID number or their phone line will be suspended. Over 200 million people therefore need to make sure they have a Unique Registration Number (UIN) if they want to continue using their phones. Officially, it is a question of limiting fraud and better planning certain budgetary policies. But the task is as chaotic as it is titanic in Africa's most populous country, especially in such a short time.

With our correspondent in Lagos, Liza Fabbian

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In the midst of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands are flocking to registration centers to obtain a TIN, a national identity number.

There are around 1,000 registration offices in Nigerian territory - where nearly 100 million people are believed to be improperly registered.

To encourage the population to take these steps, the federal government plans to suspend all telephone lines that are not linked to a NIN number by the beginning of February.

Manuel recounts the worries of Nigerians: “Without a phone, you can't do anything. And now if you lose your phone, it is no longer possible to get a new SIM card without an ID number. People are worried, so they should try to register.

Earlier this week, telephone operators had received less than 50 million national identification numbers, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, despite the country having more than 200 million active SIM cards.

The collection and management of this data raises questions, says Fabian. “There are people who are not registered with the bank, many who do not have an ID number… and yet they are Nigerians. So I guess the government wants to collect as much data as possible on its citizens.

The Nigerian authorities have confirmed that foreign nationals are also affected by these measures.

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