The crowd at Alausa Ikeja waiting to register for NIN. Photo Channels TV

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control should blame Minister of Communications Isa Pantami and Professor Umar Danbatta the chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, for any spike in COVID-19 cases in a week’s time.

This is because the knee-jerk order asking Nigerians to link their Subscriber Identity Module(SIM) cards with National Identity Numbers, within two weeks, has drawn out large crowds to NIN registration centres.

Channels TV captured the large crowd at Alausa Ikeja on Monday morning, which stormed the NIN centre to register.

Many Nigerians have not registered for the NIN, since 2007 when the registration began.

Up till October, only about 42 million people have been registered, according to figures published by Stearsng.com.

In five months between June till October 2020, NIMC only registered 740,000 people, about 150,000 monthly.

But Pantami and Danbatta want all the 99.5 million active phone users to register for NIN and link their numbers with their SIM Cards.

But as the crowd at Alausa today has shown, Pantami’s order will only be a super spreader of the COVID-19 virus.

The House of Representatives has disagreed with the December 31 deadline given to link both SIM Card and NIN and instead it suggested a 10 week deadline.

And even that new suggestion may not be adequate, going by NIMC’s record.

Already MTN, the leading GSM provider in Nigeria said it will take about six months for it to be able to link SIM cards registered on its network with NIN.

It is hoped that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 will advise Pantami to withdraw the threat to block non-NIN compliant phone lines, and give an extended deadline of at least December 2021 for compliance.

*This is a news commentary by P.M.NEWS