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Nigerians lament blocked SIM cards

Boluwatife Akinola
Blessing Babatunde
Samuel Adelakun

Telecommunications users residing in Ondo State have expressed their frustration as the mobile service provider blocked their SIM cards over their refusal to link their National Identification Number (NIN).

Some victims of SIM cards blockage who spoke with The Hope yesterday in Akure, capital, expressed shock over what they called sudden blockage of their lines.

 They also said they were finding it difficult retrieving the blocked lines.

 Mr. Oladipo Samuel, a user, expressed how the blocked SIM, which serves as one of his hotlines, severely affected his business and has been unable to receive customers’ calls.

Despite his attempts to reactivate it, Oladipo lamented that the overwhelming crowds there have prevented his efforts, making him unable to activate the SIM card.

A Point-of-Sale Operator, Mrs. Adebayo Oladunni admitted fault, stating that her mobile service provider had earlier sent messages weeks ago, which she ignored until her SIM was blocked.

 She noted that though the retrieval process is stressful, she had no choice but to rectify it as the particular SIM serves as her business line, generating income.

 Mrs Oladunni acknowledged the importance of the NIN update by the network provider for people’s security amid societal issues.

She, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the strenuous process at the mobile service company.

Also, a businessman, Mr. Kayode Ogunmolasuyi said it was a very good decision for the operators to start blocking some numbers without a National Identification Number (NIN), noting that the mobile network services have been sending messages to their users to register their SIM with their NIN, but they chose to ignore it.

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 He said that the recent SIM blockage was causing communication losses for less educated individuals who might believe there’s no way to retrieve their SIM cards.

He suggested that the telecommunications companies implement a more effective program beyond sending messages to assist the uneducated population.

Responding to the SIM card blockage, a source at the network provider office in Akure said that the company’s decision to update NIN was hinged on the general interest of Nigerians.

The source said the network provider sent messages to customers on the need to update their SIMs cards but they ignored it and later got their SIM blocked.

“It is for the greater good of customers. Those who are yet to update their SIM cards should visit the nearest office to get it done before being flagged by the network providers,” he added.

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