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Is Nigeria filled with confused people or just MTN?

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It might look like an insult calling my countrymen ‘confused’ in an article that is supposed address the ills in the country [or just one of it]; the truth is that I am

yet to say it, I just asked the question because I saw people who looked confused amongst us.

Just within a short period, we have done voters registration, BVN registration and there is also the present National Identity card registration that is ongoing and one would just wonder if this country has a data management system or everyone wakes up to demand the same information his neighbours have.

President Muhammadu Buhari has already promised to unify the nation’s data bank but it is still funny that some individuals go on to do funny things without being afraid of the consequences [because there are no consequences]. As a Nigerian you might be glad that your data has been captured at the embassy or immigrations office, but will be sorry when the Nigerian Road Safety Commissions will tell you that they do not know you because you do not have a driver’s license.

When the National Communication Commissions mandated Nigerians to register their lines, we all took it in good faith and most of us presented valid identity cards after which everything became okay only for MTN to wake up again to tell Nigerian that we must reregister our lines again or stand losing them. As a matter of fact they are serious because many have lost theirs already.

Are we actually confused in this country or is that we enjoy wasting time for no gain? Just like in the late minutes of the BVN registration before it was extended, banks were crowded because people were tapped up with the fact that they will never have access to their monies again. People wasted days and others amounting to weeks just to have their BVN numbers merged with their bank account and the funny thing is that the BVN registration never required any special data like colour of the tongue, x-ray or DNA. It was all the same things in your bank account. It was just the thumb prints, name and phone numbers; just the same things we fill every day in every national or official registration excise we partake in.

 Are we confused or not just organized?

Our brothers in other country work in their data offices and they have done well in developing a great National Database for their new found nationalities but why can’t we get it right here in Nigeria?

For this new MTN line registration, I think the whole exercise is crazy and meaningless. If MTN lost their database, they should tell Nigerians and not subject people to the unnecessary stress they are passing through at the moment, just to just to register their lines again. They called it ‘to complete their registration’, yet no one said the initial registration was incomplete.

Everyone who owns a national business in this country is fond of play god and the bigger gods who are supposed to checkmate their activities often sit back and watch.

I am a victim of this and I don’t really know when I will be disconnect because one fact remains that I and many other Nigerians will not really have the time to wait at the overcrowded MTN offices around the country and in most cases it is one or two for a large city.

A friend wrote “I can’t waste my day like this. Under the sun, for someone else’s business” and even though managing the network is MTN’s business, the lines belong to us and they do not have the right to wake up and make a law that that will disconnect people from their clients around the world, just because of one ‘incomplete registration’ that has been complete for years.

Should MTN to be getting ready to go to court for this? Somebody tell me why Nigerians should not rally round and drag MTN to the muds for this uncommon action of confusion. 

Many Nigerians who do not have physical offices have lost their lines and this is the only way people can connect with them. Already people are switching to other network but how long will it take them to spread their lines to those clients again. But I think the best option for every smart Nigerian like me will simply be to port.

Like I said, MTN is just one network in the country and there are others like Glo, Airtel and Etisalat. The line is ours and if I can port to a new network easily to keep my line active, it will be the best option to save my line from the confusion MTN is exhibiting at the moment.

National Communication Commission should as a matter of fact rise up and save many Nigerians who are now stranded in the hands MTN and make them understand that two or three weeks’ notice to customers will never be enough to have millions of Nigerians complete their so called incomplete registration.

MTN should also understand that this is business and nothing personal; their usual language is ‘we are sorry’ but this time I want Nigerians to say the same to them and make them understand that they own the business, but we pay the bills.

Chinedu Hardy Nwadike, is a novelist, blogger, newspaper columnist, he writes from Owerri, Imo State. chikinow@yahoo.com 08038704454

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