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65-year old slumps at SIM card registration centre in Delta

By Osakhare Erese, Asaba

For fear of losing their mobile numbers, thousands of Global Systems for Mobile communication (GSM) subscribers on Friday besieged the various network centres in Delta State for the ongoing update of subscriber identity Module (SIM Registration).

In two centres in Asaba visited by our correspondent, one of the centres along Nnebisi road Asaba was enveloped in large crowd of people struggling to have their SIM registered.

Expectedly, a 65-year old woman identified as Eunice (Surname withheld) and six others allegedly slumped after an endless wait to have their SIM registered.

Officials of the popular MTN network centre, where the incident occurred who did not want their names in the print blamed the situation on nonchalant attitude of the subscribers, adding that several text messages to those who did not register their SIM to do so on or before last month end, fell on deaf ears.

In Agbor, Warri and Ughelli the MTN centres one of the leading networks in the country witnessed upsurge of subscribers who in their worries were at the various centres’ to perfect their SIM registration update.

As it were, the rush at each of the network centres in compliance with the directive by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) that all unregistered SIMs should be deactivated created unhealthy environment for subscribers in Asaba and its environs where business activities were literally paralyzed resulting in serious traffic gridlock in major roads leading to the centres.

 

It was reliably gathered that the 65-year old woman and six others who allegedly slumped were rescued by some medical personnel who were at the centre to also register their SIMs.

Investigation revealed that the rush was informed by the eventual deactivation of some mobile lines as some of them as early as Monday and Tuesday morning received some text message as “Dear subscriber, your SIM registration data is incomplete, your SIM has been deactivated.”

Speaking on the development, a senior official of the MTN who preferred anonymity told our correspondent that the exercise was in compliance the NCC directive adding that it was aimed at updating the SIM data of the various subscribers.

But a subscriber, Juliana Odogu claimed that her SIM was deactivated for no reasons adduced adding that she had been waiting to get response from MTN officials to know no avail.

Although our source noted that some of the affected subscribers had registered with the network earlier, the update was informed by incorrect and incomplete computation of the subscribers’ data in their data bank adding that it may be true that some of the affected person have registered before but for the directive that anyone whose data or photo capture contained unwanted, unclear image should re-register. 

Meanwhile, a subscriber who volunteered comment to our correspondent on condition of anonymity condemned the action of the network providers saying that they were being irresponsible to the plight of their customers.

He said: “This exercise is arrant nonsense, we have done this before and within this week I have registered twice yet I received this worrisome text message saying that my SIM has been deactivated.”

Another subscriber, Mary Okwumabua advised the network providers to decentralize the registration centres as well as ensure that they are conducted in batches in order to address the surging number of subscribers.

 

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