Despite warnings from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) that the ongoing enrollment of the National Identity Number is free, it has been observed that officials working in some Local Government Areas in Lagos State extort money from Nigerians to facilitate their registration.
Some of the LGA offices in the state visited such as the Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and the main LGA secretariat in Amuwo-Odofin, Newsbreak observed that officials in charge of the exercise secretly collect money from willing Nigerians to help facilitate their registration.
At the Oriade LCDA registration centre, a female security guard directed our reporter to one of the officers, Mr Segun, who told this medium that anyone interested to get registered and have his or her NIN generated immediately, such a person will have to pay the sum of N7,400.
He further said that those who want to go through the normal process would have to get booked for an appointment and d will be asked to come back in the next four to five months to get captured.
He said: “If you do it today you will get your number immediately and it is N7,400. So What we do is a special arrangement for anyone who wants to get it fast.
“But for the normal registration, when you submit the form they will book you for an appointment which usually takes up to four to five months.
“While for the express that day you register you will be captured and a maximum of three days you will be to come back for the printout.”
At the Amuwo-Odofin secretariat, one of the security guards told our reporter that to join the queue one will have to pay the sum of N6,000.
Elsewhere, at some telecom operators designated centres in the area, it was observed that registration has been grounded due to malfunctioning of the devices used for the registration.
At the MTN office on 23 Road, Festac Town, one of the security guards told this medium that registration has been put on hold due to malfunctioning of their computers.
He said: “For now no NIN registration because the machines got spoilt yesterday and when one is down the whole will be affected. Those you see outside here came for their SIM Cards reactivation.”
Also, at the 9Mobile office along the Road, the security guard told our reporter that they are not taking in new enrollees at the moment, adding that there is a backlog they want to attend to before taking in new ones.
He also said that one of the major reasons for the backlog was as a result of the slow network from NIMC.
One of the enrollees, Mr Nobel Maxwell, who was stranded at the Amuwo-Odofin secretariat, complained that he has been to the office for the fourth time this year yet those in charge keep telling him and others to come back whereas others who go through the back door are being attended to.
“Well, this is my fourth time here, I have been coming since the second week of January and each time I come they will tell me to come back in the next one month till this April,” he said.
Also, another enrollee, Femi, said he was back at the secretariat because he received a text message from the network he is using, informing him to register his NIN to avoid being disconnected from the network.
Last week Thursday, Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said 51 million Nigerians have enrolled for the National Identification Number (NIN) scheme, while a total of 189 million Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards have been registered and linked to individuals’ NIN.
The Federal Government has extended the deadline for Nigerians to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their SIM cards by one month to May 6, 2021, the fourth time this year.
But, Mr Akintunde, a civil servant in Lagos State, objected to the extension deadline saying that there is no need for a deadline for the registration.
According to him, millions of Nigerians who are yet to register to go through the eye of a needle to make sure they are registered while others after waking up early in the morning will be asked to come back the next day.
He said, “I don’t know why every month there is a deadline, the registration should be a continuous process.
“There are millions of Nigerians both in the rural and urban areas that have not registered, many of my colleagues wake up as early as they can to meet up with the registration but at the end of the day, a fraction of the people here will get registered. The process should continue, why the rush?.”