Some MTN subscribers who are yet to register their SIM adequately may have remained incommunicado. Little wonder those ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with at some MTN outlets were visibly agitated. Some of them narrated their predicaments to us as we went to town to feel the pulse of subscribers who have been cut off from their business partners, customers, relations, friends, etc and what they have lost to communication inhibition in naira and kobo.
Also, those who were not cut off had to update their lines shared their plight on how they have been going through the stress of updating their lines.
ENCOMIUM Weekly visited a branch of MTN on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at 10.30 am and we spoke with some subscribers who complained bitterly about how they have been affected by the sudden change in MTN’s procedure.
We gathered from one Mr. Olakunle Balogun, a psychologist that MTN is still blocking subscribers’ SIM.
“Two days ago, I was here, I met a very endless queue and today, again I am here and I am sure I am going to spend the whole day here. I am supposed to be at the office but because of the registration I have to do now, I left work. They have cut me off my clients so that is the reason I have come here to get it done.
“They should find a way of resolving this issue so it won’t be a persistent thing. It is absurd, the way they are doing things here is not supposed to be, they should have a record. How much I have lost is unquantifiable. What I would have made in three to four days ago is indescribable and if care is not taken, I will sue them. This is the third time I am doing this in a year. I have been sitting here for hours now. I was here October/November last year to register my line but to no avail. It is unfair the way we are being treated.”
We spoke with Mr. Chris, who said he works at NTA. “I have been here since 5am and I am still on the queue waiting for my turn. I took permission from my office just to make sure I get it done today and I am still here. I do not even know what to do again because this number is my hotline. The MTN management should just find a solution quickly because it is really affecting me.”
Another subscriber, Mrs. Comfort Akinnubi shared her plight too. “I have been here once to register my line last year and then I received a text last week telling me to come and re-register my line, so that is what I am here for. I have not lost anything, my job allows me to come here, I work for the government as a road sweeper and I am also a petty trader. If MTN should call for a re-registration, I will just break the SIM and dispose it, they are not the only network available so, they should stop stressing us.”
Okon Jennifer also spoke with us. “I have spent an hour 30 minutes here. I have not lost anything per se but I am very sick and I have to be here because they sent me a message yesterday that if I don’t re-register within 24 hours, my line will be cut off.”
Mrs. Elizabeth Okolo who just completed her registration told us that they were not given any N1,000 credit. “I was here very early in the morning but thank God I have done it. I heard after we completed our registration, we will be given N1,000 credit but I have not gotten anything yet.”
Another subscriber who remained anonymous spoke with us. “I got a message from MTN last week Tuesday that I should re-register my SIM because if I do not, I will be disconnected within 24 hours of receiving the message. I am here to help my grandmother to re-register her SIM because she would not be able to stand the stress and long queue. We have been here since early this morning but I believe we will get it done.”
On Thursday, January 21, 2016, at about 11.55am, ENCOMIUM Weekly re-visited the office and we were surprised to see the queue had not subsided. We spoke to one Miss Shola, who said she is a stylist. She told us she has been in the office since 9am.
“I stopped work since yesterday so I can register my SIM, but the funny aspect is that I have registered my SIM since 2010 and they said it is an incomplete registration. Since yesterday, I have not been able to make or receive call and my customers will be trying to reach me.”
We spoke with Mrs. Chinedu, who runs an online store. She told us how she has been affected by the new development.
“I was disconnected yesterday and since then I have been using my husband’s phone to make calls. I cannot say how much I have lost because I make a lot of money. My prayer is that they should just answer us on time.”
We gathered from one Mr. Remilekun that he received messages to re-registered his SIM. I have been to their office several times but to no avail. This is the fourth time I am coming here. I was only given a form to fill and a number for the queue. It is very frustrating
“Because of this, I have to skip going to office today and there is no assurance that I will get it done today. They blocked my SIM yesterday and since then I have not been able to make or receive any call and this is my business line. They should just answer us and let us get out of here”
Engineer Emmanuel, a civil servant, also spoke with us. “I cannot talk to my children, family and friends since Monday that I have been disconnected. I have a Glo but people are not familiar with the number, only my MTN number most of my people know. I have been here very early this year to re-register and I’m still surprised they disconnected me. I have been using the SIM for more than 10 years now. I feel the problem is because MTN does not have a good data base and that is the cause of this problem. They should better find a solution before we act wild. Had it been I have the manager’s number, I would have called him and send some touching message to him because this is absolute stupidity.”
- DAMILOLA FOLAMI