Association of Telephone, Cable TV & Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS) is the leading masses advocacy body that promote Subscriber interests as well as defends Subscriber right in Nigeria with over 190 million Subscribers membership strength across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. National President of ATCIS, Hon Sina Bilesanmi in a statement released on Saturday January 15, while addressed Journalists at Badagry during BoT & Excos first meeting of the year 2022, thanking GOD first & all members of over 190 million Subscribers across six geopolitical zone in Nigeria for their support to achieved a lot, we really appreciate the president, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the lifting of the suspension of the Twitter operation in Nigeria.
The lifting is coming after 7 months of suspension and will be effective from 12am of January 13, 2022, according to a statement from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Meanwhile am saying this that the total number of Internet subscribers in Nigeria has dropped by over 11 million plus in 11 months, according to the ATCIS advocacy & latest industry data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The NCC data showed that the total number of Internet subscribers fell to 140.4 million in November 2021, from 151.3 million in January 2021.
According to the NCC, mobile data subscriptions have the largest share, while fixed-wired subscriptions and voiceover Internet protocol subscriptions contribute negligible numbers to the Internet connection.
The total number of mobile data subscribers declined to 140.1 million in November 2021 from 150.9 million in January 2021, showing a difference of 10.8 million subscribers.
Fixed wired had 11,545 subscribers in January 2021, and increased to 12,299 subscribers in November 2021; VoIP had 387,169 subscribers in January 2021 and dropped to 339,427 in November 2021.
The data showed that most Internet subscribers opted more for mobile data subscriptions than any other type of Internet subscription in the country.
In the period under review, MTN had the largest number of mobile subscribers, and also witnessed the biggest loss of data subscribers.
Its data subscribers dropped from 64 million in January 2021 to 58.1 million in November 2021.
Airtel saw the number of its data subscribers fall to 36.9 million in November 2021, from 40 million in January 2021.
Globacom’s data subscribers declined to 39.3 million in November 2021 from 40 million in January 2021, while 9mobile saw its data subscribers reduced to 5.8 million from 6.9 million.
ATCIS in her general views, have hinged the drop in the number of Internet subscribers on factors, such as the ban on SIM registration, NIN-SIM policy, telecoms shutdowns, among others. In December 2020, the NCC directed Mobile Network Operators to suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
The association has made over 733 newspaper publications, both local and international as well as online news publications, Radio and National Television Station Interviews with about 232 Success achievements so far to the benefit of Subscribers across the country. The NCC said the suspension was necessary due to the preponderance of pre-registered SIMs and the security implications of the use of such SIMs to facilitate criminal activities.
However, experts said the policy denied new subscribers the opportunity to purchase mobile lines while existing users who want to retrieve their lost lines were not given access.
Hon Sina Bilesanmi has called attention of President Muhammed Buhari that the nation has a long way to go regarding the issuance of the National Identity Numbers, expressing worries over how applicants are being extorted at the various official registration points amid poor service delivery, from ATCIS finding it costs as much as N10,000 to get a NIN within a short period, and N5,000 within one week.
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He alleged that officials of the National Identity Management Commission at Alausa- Ikeja now connive with “agents” to extort NIN applicants.
He said, “ Moment our struggle to FG extended till 31st March, 2022. ATCIS committee visited some of the NIN centres, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. At the independent centres, you have to pay before they attend to you. But when you go to the NIMC office at Alausa, they have agents.
“If you want your NIN that day you register for it, you will have to part with N10,000. If you must collect it the following day or within a week, you will part with N5,000, ATCIS put a call and no response from Dss & NIMC spoke person. The minister Pantami can send someone in mufti to confirm this.
“It is an open racket. It is cheaper outside. If you want to get your NIN from independent agents, you will pay a smaller fee of about N1,000 to N2,000, but they will give you a tracking number for two or more weeks. With them, you won’t be able to get your actual NIN card until much later.”
According to punch publication Friday, January14, 2022 page 18 & Bilesanmi-ATCIS President, said NIMC does not seem to have the capacity to upload all the data it gets and this has created an opportunity for its officials to selectively upload data, and allegedly rip off Nigerian Subscribers.
Bilesanmi added, “The NIMC does not have the capacity to upload all the data that is coming from everywhere in the country. Because of this, they selectively upload data and make money off it at Alausa.
“The capacity of the NIMC is very limited for now, they do not have the capacity for big uploads, and this is fueling the extortion going at the NIMC’s office. They have agents. And this is very unfortunate. You now have to pay to get a NIN.
“Their agents collect money from you, this is extortion and exploitation, and it is uncalled for. This impacts on the people’s willingness to want to get their NINs. ”He added that this would only lead to further delays in the SIM-NIN linkage process.
We want it to be on record that BoT, National Excos & all Telecommunications Subscribers has agreed on subscriber automatically subscription from our network providers according to Barr. Oluwatosin Ogbede “Is there no membership fee? Subscribers should have a yearly subscription or even one time payment that members make to sustain the organization or how do you finance activities? Owing rent is not image friendly at all” ATCIS has spent about #452 million naira since 2014 till date, which has been on self -sponsored by members without government agency’s in Nigeria.
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