From Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri
The Coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Youth Leaders Assembly, (COSMBYLA), the umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South East, South South, South West and Middle Belt regions has slamed the Director General / Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) , Aliyu Azeez and Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami for ordering the banning of outgoing calls of Nigerians by telecommunication providers.
COSYMBLA in a statement by its leader, Goodluck Ibem on Wednesday said the duo should be blamed for Nigerians not correctly having their National Identification Number (NIN) linked to their lines.
He said ” Since the introduction of these NIN number, many Nigerian families and parents with over 7 children to feed have died of hunger and starvation in an attempt to save money to register for the NIN since you can’t register for the number in question without paying to NIMC Officials to get it.
It is only in Nigeria that citizens have to pay bribe that is not receipted to get a NIN number. The NIN registration exercise has elevated the level of Nigeria in global corruption index.
The NIN exercise has skined Nigerians alive are there are gushing out blood and these NIMC officials doesn’t care how the feel . They are just interested in smiling to the bank while Nigerians are crying to their houses to sleep on empty stomach.
A family of 10 or 12 that can hardly feed once a day and is required to pay N2000 each, will be paying not less than N24,000 to get the said NIN. Too sad!.
It is gross insensitivity on the part of the federal government to subject Nigerians to these form of hardship and suffering when the already know that Nigerians have been over stretched .
Nigerians who depends on their phones calls to feed their families can no longer do so because their lines have been barred from making outgoing calls for not paying bribes to get a NIN. The long queue in NIN registration centers make it very difficult for Nigerians who have the bribe to pay to even get the said number.
Now that the telecommunication companies have barred outgoing calls of all unlinked lines, these NIMC officials will use it as an ample opportunity to increase the extorton rate.
“It is so unfortunate that such a high-level fraud will be going on and the Federal government will look the other way as if nothing is happening, this tells of complicity on the part of the Federal government.
“We demand that the phone lines of Nigerians be unbarred, NIMC Officials should stop extorting Nigerians, and we demand for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami and Director General/ Chief Executive Officer of National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Azeez Abubakar to enable for a prosper probe of their ministry and agency to ascertain the level of their involvement in the ongoing extortion by NIMC officials who are working under them.” Ibem stated.