.Enrollees allege slow response time, extortions, network hitches
As of October 2022, the number of National Identity Numbers (NINs) issued to Nigerians by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has hit 90.6 million.
Checks by The Guardian showed that the NIMC issued 56 per cent, which is 50.9 million of the NINs to male enrollees, while 39.7 million, about 44 per cent were handed to the female folks.
Bayelsa State with 547,985 issued NINs remained the least state in the country with identity numbers. Other states in that cadre include Ebonyi has 728, 451; Ekiti 962,629; Cross River 1, 029, 465; Taraba 1,309,346; Yobe 1,358, 300; Enugu 1, 485, 844; Imo 1, 526, 967; Zamfara 1,554, 371 and Akwa Ibom 1, 555, 546.
Expectedly, Lagos leads others with 10.2 million issued NINs. Kano is next with 7.8 million; Kaduna 5.36 million; Ogun 3 3.77 million; Oyo 3.62 million; Abuja 3.1`9 million; Katsina 3.11 million; Rivers 2.73 million; Delta 2.43 million and Bauchi 2.36 million.
NIMC, which observed that regional figures indicated an almost equal distribution across the North and South, puts diaspora issuance at 274, 627.
MEANWHILE, teething problems continued to impact the efficiency of the NIN processes as more Nigerians continued to lament various errors in their identity slip despite submitting accurate data.
Besides, there are still cases of extortion, as applicants claimed that some NIMC officials are extorting them to the tune of between N5000 and N7000 to register for NINs in Lagos and other parts of the country.
Some weeks back, the Nigerian Army had arrested some suspects, who claimed to be NIMC officials in Niger Republic, enrolling Nigerians for the NIN.
The identity management commission, however, denied knowing the suspects, with the claim that they are impersonators.
NIMC Director-General, Aliyu Aziz, in a statement, said those arrested were fake as the Army put it, noting that the public should not regard them as the NIMC officials.
At the Alausa, Ikeja office, some enrollees claimed that despite the huge number of Nigerians captured for the exercise, some irregularities have continued to strain the process.
Gabriel Adegboyega, an aviator, who spoke with The Guardian, complained about the response time of NIMC officials to work.
“I did my NIN in 2016 when I wanted to get my international passport, I lost the slip and went to Ikotun but I was directed to Ikeja from there. Getting here, I was told to register another NIN but on getting here I was told I can’t register another since I have gotten before…okay so what next? The workers here are the most annoying set of people.
After spending two weeks frequenting there without positive outcomes, I gained access into the office for the NIN, I queued for more than four hours and they said it’s time for them to go home at 2pm. No problem, no pressure, nothing, they were all gisting and now I am here again today.”
Narrating his experiences also, another enrollee, Lawal Oladimeji, a Coca-Cola contract staff, said: “This is the 6th time I am doing my NIN. I did it at my area of residence, invalid, there was a time Glo made the registration available as well, where we ought to buy a card of N1, 000 before they could register, which we did. We registered and I was issued a number… I needed to use it for some services and was told it wasn’t responding. I headed back to Glo office where I was told I have to rẹ-register. Angrily, I left the Glo office and headed to another registration centre, from there I was directed to Alausa, and I was attended to but was instructed to come back, I got the NIN on my second visit here.
“I needed to get a new SIM card, getting to Shoprite, I was told my name didn’t appear, I argued with them severally that, at least my picture is showing, give me the SIM they said no, I should go back to where I did my NIN… I came back here and was told my NIN has been suspended. Why is my NIN suspended, I still don’t get it!”
Oladimeji wondered why and how his NIN got suspended without “me involved in any illegal activities.”
RECALL that about two weeks ago, it was reported that NIMC might get funding to replace its outdated infrastructure as its database nears full capacity.
At a press conference for the Digital Nigeria Day 2022, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, said he had obtained the approval of the President Muhammadu Buhari, for the funds needed to replace NIMC’s archaic infrastructure. He expressed optimism that the funds would be released in early 2023.
He said, “I obtained the approval of Mr President to replace their (NIMC) obsolete infrastructure, which we do hope will commence in early 2023.”
He further noted that there was a provision for this in the 2023 budget.