As Nigeria battles with the second wave of the coronavirus disease with a despicable testing record, the government policy has further exacerbated the already dire situation.
Some of the popular measures of containing the contagion are social distancing, testing and isolation. While Nigeria recorded hundreds of new cases every day, the federal government under the Minister of Digital Technology announced it’s plan to block phone lines which haven’t been linked with the National Identification Number, NIN. Several short deadlines were given thereby forcing into panic mode.
The people soon flooded the few registration centres to get their NIN done. Several locations were crowded and social distancing rules were flouted. In no time, the number of coronavirus cases entered an average of 1,000 per day.
Officials of the NIMC who dealt with hundreds of untested applicants soon contracted the disease and a number of deaths recorded. This initially stalled the registration process and it was suspended.
The Minister, Pantami’s introduction of the linkage of NIN with phone lines was criticized by a large section of the country considering the scourge of the highly infectious respiratory disease. The policy also pitched him against the ministry of health. But Pantami wasn’t backing down.
A social media user recently raised an alarm about the closing down of her mother’s working place due to coronavirus infections. According to her account, people were dropping dead too easily and she blamed it on Pantami’s policy.
Pantami’s policy might be well-intentioned, but it has proved to be counter-productive as it facilitated the further spread of the disease with many lives lost.
This is a costly mistake which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Pantami should be given the honour of resigning from President Buhari’s cabinet or outrightly sacked from office for endangering human lives.
It is not clear if Buhari will ever make such a move. It took him years of public pressure to recently change the service chiefs.
Do you think Pantami deserves to be sacked or probably suspended? Do you also agree with the view that the NIN registrations enhanced the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria?
Share your views in the comment section and let people know what you think.