2m youths left ‘jobless’ after govt suspended SIM card registration

About 2 million young Nigerians have been left without work due to the recent suspension of the sale, registration and activation of SIM cards by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, it was learned yesterday.

Arewa telecom operators agents and the SIMCard Distributors Association (ATOASDA) stated this when addressing journalists in Kaduna.

Telecom distributors, who claimed to be aware of the Federal Government’s intention to address security challenges by linking the National Identity Number (NIN) with mobile numbers and suspending the registration of new SIM cards, expressed concern. that putting 2 million young people out of work could make the situation worse. security challenges.

The president of ATOASDA, Hassan Yakubu, explained that, as an association registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the members of the agents supported the measures of the Federal Government to protect the life and property of citizens.

The union leader urged the government to consider that the causes of insecurity throughout the country have been related to youth unemployment.

He said that the income of telecom business partners, workers and agents, most of whom are within 20 to 40 years in the value chain, is determined by the number of SIM activations / registrations performed in the month.

Yakubu said: “Suspension of SIM card registration can trigger a worse form of insecurity, especially in the areas most affected by insecurity. In fact, growth in the telecommunications sector is driven by the same subsector that was discontinued, and the much-celebrated 17 percent contribution of the telecommunications sector to gross domestic product (GDP) was the result of the activities of the sub-sector. sector. suspended sector.

“Therefore, we wish to warn that the Federal Government can still achieve the desired result and avoid creating further problems in an attempt to resolve a problem if the suspension is immediately reviewed to avoid the danger to which the suspension may expose young people.

“We suggest that all existing SIM cards should be paired with the NIN numbers within a stipulated time, while an average of three months should be allowed for smooth and effective pairing.

“We also suggest that the sale, registration and activation of SIM cards be allowed to continue, while an average of 10 new NIN machines are deployed in each local government in the 774 local governments of the federation for better reach.

“That the synchronization of any new SIM card should not be allowed without the support of the NIN number and the identification card until the pairing of the SIM card and the NIN number is concluded,” he said.

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