In total there were over 1.7 million SIM cards that were disabled as a result of phone numbers identification campaign launched by the nigerien authorities. The head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has been very clear on this: ” From this day , unidentified SIM cards can not be used .” The fierce measure has mainly been motivated by national territory safety reasons.
The country has experienced bombings, kidnappings and terrorist threats are still present. For the government, the identification of holders of SIM cards will help better fight against criminals. However, the association for the defense of consumer rights, which accuses telcos for the current situation, says that many people have presented their ID papers two, three or four times and yet their line was cut .
For the phone companies , it is a huge inconvenience as some have lost hundreds of thousands of customers in one day.