By Ismail Auwal

The Arewa Telecom Operators Agents and SIMCard Dealers Association (ATOASDA) has revealed that over two millions Nigerian youths have been rendered jobless by the recent government directives to suspend sale, registration and activation of SIM cards.

The association said, although it understands the government’s intention for the policy, which is to address the current national security challenges bedeviling the country, but leaving more than two million people without job can escalate the security problem.

The president of the association, Hassan Yakubu, said as a registered association they’re ready to support federal government’s effort of curbing insecurity in the country, and to also protect the lives and properties of people.

He noted that some of the causes of insecurity in Nigeria include leaving youths without jobs, saying that the government should consider this as a challenge.

Hassan also said their members incomes depend on the number of activation/SIM registration they carry out within a month.

“The suspension of SIM card registration may trigger a worse form of insecurity, especially in the zones most affected by the insecurity. In fact, the growth in the Telecom sector is determined by the very sub-sector that was suspended and the much celebrated 17 per cent contribution by Telecom sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) was as a result of the activities of the sub-sector under suspension,” Yakubu said.

He added that, “We, therefore, wish to advise that the Federal Government can still achieve the desired result as well as avoid creating more problems in an attempt to solve a problem if the suspension is revised immediately to avoid the danger the suspension may expose the youths to.

“We suggest that all existing SIM Cards must 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 SIM Cards sale, registration and activation should be allowed to continue, while an average of 10 new NIN machines be deployed in every local government in the 774 local governments of the federation for a better reach.”

“That no new SIM Card should be allowed to be synchronised without the support of NIN number and ID card until the SIM Card and NIN number pairing is concluded,” he concluded.

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