NIN-SIM: Angry subscribers, others besiege NIMC office

Telecommunication subscribers as well as students applying for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations yesterday besieged the Alausa, Ikeja enrolment centre of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

They were at the commission’s office in their thousands to enroll for the National Identity Number (NIN), a prerequisite for registration for the examinations and other important documentations, such as the international passport.

The huge crowd gave some unpatriotic elements the opportunity to extort innocent and desperate citizens applying for the NIN.

One of the frustrated parents, who gave her name simply as Mrs. Okeke, said she was at the office the previous day to enrol her daughter into the National Data Base of the NIMC and get her NIN so she could register for WAEC.

The distraught mother said she was overwhelmed by the huge crowd that besieged the place.

“I came here yesterday with my daughter but could not do anything. I had to come here early enough today (yesterday) but could not achieve anything.

“There is massive corruption, which has become inevitable on account of the huge crowd that gathered here. Unscrupulous elements are smiling to the banks extorting between N10,000 and N20,000 from desperate parents.

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“NIMC may have inadvertently precipitated this because it shut down all the accredited centres for NIN and limited it to only Alausa. Now, see the crowd. Imagine the registration form on which Not for Sale is boldly inscribed being sold. You have to pay for the form.

“There’s a woman by Polaris Bank in that area that sells the form. So, these are some of the challenges. The Federal Government should please come to our rescue,” she said.

In a telephone conversation while reacting to the development, NIMC’s spokesman Kayode Adegoke said the commission has zero tolerance for corruption.

He said anyone caught collecting cash in exchange for NIN registration would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The NIMC spokesman said the crowd noticed at the commission’s Lagos office was because NIMC had temporarily suspended Front-End Partners (FEP) from engaging in the NIN enrolments.

According to him, the commission is currently carrying out a revalidation of the third-party registration centres.

Adegoke said the revalidation was aimed at improving the enrolment process and addressing outstanding debts owed to the FEPs and correcting the infractions reported significantly attributed to them.

He assured Nigerians that more data capturing machines would be supplied to the Lagos office next Monday to reduce the waiting time and ease the pressure on both the staff and people willing to get NIN.

The NIMC spokesman added that the use of forms would be settled by next week.

Adegoke urged Nigerians to stop the fire brigade approach to issues, saying the NIN registration had been ongoing for some time.

He wondered why parents had to wait till the 11th hour to do the right thing.

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