Members of the House of Representatives have asked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the deadline on shutting down SIM cards not linked to the National Identity Number (NIN).
The call for the rescheduling was made by the lower chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu reportedly during plenary, raised a motion of urgent public importance to delay the earlier announced move to February 2021.
Elumelu in his motion explained that the House agrees with the policy of linking SIM cards to NIN, noting that the new policy is consistent with the position of the House.
“As laudable as the policy is, Nigerians have not been properly sensitized. In this yuletide season, it could lead to stampede and exploitation,” the House noted.
”Therefore, trying to enforce this policy in a period where most Nigerians are gearing up for Christmas festivities may lead to stampede in the process of rushing to get registered which could lead to unnecessary death and injuries.”
It said going ahead with the two-week deadline “will bring about untold hardship as millions of subscribers will be disconnected this yuletide period which could spell disaster in an already volatile nation like ours”.
“The house is worried that if the NCC is not urgently called to halt their plans there may be unnecessary panic in the country which may lead to exploitation of vulnerable Nigerian thereby causing more pains in an already pathetic situation hence the need to urgently Wade into this impending crisis,” the motion added.
The lawmakers subsequently voted that the deadline be extended to 10 weeks and asked the committee on communications to ensure compliance.