Rowdy scenes at SIM card verification centers

Ifeoma Owoh, Lagos

Crowds of people at the registration centre in Lagos

The ongoing SIM card registration and verification in Nigeria has led to chaotic scenes by  subscribers who complain of difficulties experienced in the process.

Some subscribers interviewed by Voice of Nigeria, complained they had lost valuable man hours waiting to be attended to.

Telcoms provider MTN, had organized the registration to prevent a mandatory switch off  of subscribers’ lines.

Registration staff
Registration staff

Respondents at one of the verification centres in Lagos complained bitterly that subscribers were told to come to only one particular centre to be verified, thereby creating chaotic scenes.

The verification exercise by MTN may not be unconnected to the recent fine of over N1trn from Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC for allowing millions of unregistered SIM cards on their network.

The company had said that “the verification comes with a reward of free airtime“.

These incentives may also have encouraged many subscribers to rush to the centres to verify their numbers.