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Mixed reactions trail NCC’s plan to restrict ownership of mobile lines

By By Seye Olumide (Southwest Bureau Chief)
07 October 2021   |   4:07 am
Following the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to restrict under 18 kids from registering and owning a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card in the country, prominent Nigerians have described the policy as retrogressing...

Following the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to restrict under 18 kids from registering and owning a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card in the country, prominent Nigerians have described the policy as retrogressing and one that could speak bad of the country in the comity of nations.

Reacting, National Chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr. Olu Agunloye, stated that banning the children from the Internet was ill thought of.

The pioneer Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said the move was faulty.

According to him, “it is a confused policy. It is a policy borne out of confusion and an attempt to throwing the baby away with the bath water. A policy that is similar to that of removal of toll gates on the excuse that they were using them to commit corruption because the officials manning those gates were under-declaring collections.”

The former Minister of State for Defence told the Federal Government that “what is wrong with the policy to ban certain categories of people from having access to Sim card is more than what it shows about us.”

He added: “Children should have access to the Internet. They have different ways of learning on the Internet, not even those that are teenagers, but those ones that are less than five years old have restricted access. The issue of restricted access has been there for generations.”

A columnist, Prof. Adebayo Williams, said the first thing is to ask from the government what excuses it has for the decision

“The policy is an encroachment on liberty and further recession of democratic growth,” he stated.
But in a different view, spokesman for Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Abel Oshevire, stressed that government must have its reasons.

His words: “Things are so bad in today’s society such that those children are really getting out of hands due to the negative things they learn through the Internet. Nobody knows why they took the decision, but it must have been based on a research or they have their facts. Unless one has the facts, one can’t actually make an informed opinion of the decision. What I can say is that Internet has done so much danger, and it has exposed our children to very unpleasant issues.”

President, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, Akin Malaolu, described the policy as an “unpardonable negligence and a willful fault on the calibre of leadership President Muhammadu Buhari is still moving on with.”

“The whole idea if it becomes a reality, would truncate our nation’s attempt at good education and good leadership, both of which are a necessary mixture for harmony, growth and peace,” he submitted.

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