By our Correspondents |
Staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) engaged in the registration of the National Identity Number (NIN) now work on Saturdays and Sundays to fast track the process, LEADERSHIP Friday findings have revealed.
This is just as Nigerians thronging the NIMC centres for registration of their NIN said they are facing hard times,
It was gathered that the enrolment process is slow, coupled with inadequate equipment at the enrolment centres.
The Plateau State coordinator of NIMC, Garba Nuhu Ibrahim, disclosed that NIMC workers are classified as essential service providers, which is why they are working on Saturdays, Sundays and any other public holidays.
He appealed to Nigerians to be patient, law abiding and follow instructions by the personnel at the gate to ensure a free and fair exercise.
Ibrahim who spoke with our correspondent at NIMC Office Lamingo road in Jos North local government area said it takes about five minutes to registered one person at a time, saying it all depends on the ability of the person to provide the necessary information that required.
Speaking on some of the challenges being faced, Ibrahim said the computers at the enrollment registration centres (ERC) are not enough, stressing that there are also technology hitches like freezing of computer, lack of power supply, while some computers are outdated and need to be upgraded.
He also listed other challenges to include connectivity, data issues, crowd control, and adherence to COVID-19 Protocols, among others.
According to him, some people have to be booked to come on a particular date to ensure a hitch-free exercise and avoid overcrowding.
Our correspondent who went around the premises where the registration exercise is taking place discovered only five computers out of which only four were in working condition to serve the mammoth crowd.
At the waiting hall before capturing, the enrollees were seen sitting down while maintaining social distancing.
Also, several residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, who enrolled said it was not easy going through the process.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Friday, one of the residents, Stanley Job Stanley, said: “It was very hectic. To gain entrance into their office was very difficult due to the crowd. One thing is gaining entrance into the premises, and another is getting into the hall where the enrollment was being done. When you get into the premises, you will still wait for about three hours before you are ushered into the hall.”
Official of NIMC, Emmanuel Stephens, said the exercise was recording huge success despite the mammoth crowd that come for enrollment each day.
Stephens said, “The exercise is succeeding despite the mammoth crowd, but the Police and other security agencies have been very helpful in controlling them. We sent out our officials to places like the NUJ Secretariat in order to decongest our office.”
In Nasarawa State, especially in Lafia, scores of residents lament that the process of the registration is slow.
On alleged extortion at one of the centres, an official who craved anonymity noted that miscreants were swindling the enrollees for selfish reasons and promised that NIMC will investigate the matter.
In Ilorin, Kwara state, the NIMC officials attend to about 100 persons per day. However, those wishing to get registered needed to arrive in the NIMC office between 5am and 5:30am and be ready to spend the whole day to process the required documents.
Some of them narrated their frustration, calling on government to extend the stipulated deadline for obtaining the NIN.
The people, who would not want their names in print, said they arrived in the NIMC office as early as 5:30am to queue for registration.
COVID-19 protocols were adhered to as the NIMC officials enforced “no face masks, no entry” policy of the state government.
Also, those who gained entrance into the NIMC premises were made to stand in the marked boxes created to ensure social distancing before being called into the office for registration processes.
In Osun State, despite the federal government “work at home” directive to workers on grade level 12 and below, workers of NIMC, irrespective of their status, are on their duty post daily to enroll Nigerians for their National Identity Number.
LEADERSHIP Friday’s visit to the headquarters of NIMC at Oroki Estate, Osogbo revealed that all workers were in their offices.
They also report to duty as early as 6:00am on a daily basis and close as late as 9:00pm to attend to people.
To ensure that the people comply with COVID-19 guidelines, officials employ a first come first serve rule to select enrollees per day and disperse others promptly to accommodate and create avenues for social distancing and ensure that other guidelines are observed.
According to Mr Sola Akinlabi, the state media officer, there are enough facilities to carry out the assignment adding that NIMC office is also open to enrollees at weekends.
Mr Kola Oginni who spoke with LEADERSHIP Friday after enrollment disclosed that peculiarities of cases determine the period it takes each enrollee to get settled, adding that fresh enrollee attracts longer process than those who already have NIN through their BVN
In Benue State, one of the Staff of NIMC Who did not want his name in print lamented that there no required equipment for the registration of the enrollees.
He said, “Absolutely, the equipment required for enrollment are not enough to carry the capacity of enrollees because in a day, we do have not less than 700 persons to be enrolled, so practically the equipment are inadequate for the job”.
On the number of registration centres available and accessible in the state, he said there are 26 functional centres across the state.
One of the enrollees, Terkumbur Nenger, said she had been at the center for two days without registering.
In Taraba state, the state Coordinator NIMC, Mr Moses Musa Maimadu said the commission was facing some challenges.
He said there is inadequate equipment because during the EndSARS protest hoodlums carted away most of ther equipment, adding that the equipment used now are few and are supported by Federal Ministry of Communication.
Also, the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) registration exercise in Asaba is said to be chaotic as most prospective applicants have to queue for hours before it gets to their turn.
Some of the applicants who spoke to LEADERSHIP Friday appealed to the federal government to decentralised the ongoing NIN exercise in the country, saying that the development would ease the process of registration.
An applicant who gave his as Obi said he arrive in the venue of the registration exercise in Asaba at about 5:00am on Thursday and was number 100 on the list.
He stated: “I have been here since 5:00am and I was number 100 on the list. I want to appeal that government should decentralise the process. It should be done in each ward to make it easier. They should employ ad hoc staff if they lack manpower to ease the work because the suffering is just too much for us.
“It will be better to decentralized it and put centres in all the wards than everybody coming to this place for the NIN registration.”