The Association of SIM Registration of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter, has appealed to the Federal Government to restore their source of livelihood by lifting the suspension on SIM registration.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Mr Mayowa Anjorin, made the appeal during a peaceful protest at the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Zonal office in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Anjorin, a graduate, said he started the SIM registration business to make ends meet, particularly when securing a white-collar job was not forthcoming.
He, however, said that since the suspension directive from the government, the source of his livelihood, like that of others, had been affected.
“We need the government to please come to our aid and restore our fortune, which is SIM registration.
“I sell at N100 per SIM every day to make a living, but for the past three months, the NCC has stopped us from selling, making it hard for me to feed myself and my family.
“I cannot pay my house rent and my children’s school fees. The same lot has befallen my colleagues.
“Majority of our members are graduates, who only want a legitimate source of income and have refused to go into yahoo, yahoo, stealing and kidnapping to survive.
“The NCC policy is depriving about 200 million Nigerians their rights to buy new SIMs, register their SIMs or retrieve their lines.
“We are appealing to the government to bring back SIM registration, which goes for only N100; we are not criminals and we don’t intend to become one,” he said.
According to him, some members of the association have been hospitalised as fallout of the situation, while some have taken to begging for their daily meals.
“We are Nigerian youths in our 20s and 30s. We need the government to please help us,” he said.
While addressing the protesters at the NCC office, Mr Yomi Arowosafe, Controller, NCC Ibadan Zonal Office, assured that their grievances would be conveyed to the appropriate quarters.
“We have appealed to your association through your leaders and we are appealing to you now that you have to exercise some little patience.
“The time required for the federal government to achieve its aim is not as much as the time already spent on the process.
“I am so happy that your representatives are knowledgeable in what the government is doing, in linking SIM cards to National Identity Numbers (NIN).
“I am so happy that they know why the present challenge has occurred.
“We will take your appeal to our management to look at for necessary action.
“We appeal to you to be patient while the government gets to the end of this,” Arowosafe said.