By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Akwa Ibom State is raking in thousands of Naira daily from members of the public who troop into the various outlets and offices of the commission in the state to obtain National Identification Number Enrollment Form.
This current exodus of the people trooping into the various outlets and offices in the state to get captured follows the ongoing messages from GSM network providers urging subscribers to send their NIN number to the network to avoid disconnection.
The action however it is also learnt, followed the recent directive by the federal government that every Nigerian citizen and resident subscribing to GSM network should link his or her registration with national identification number (NIN).
Our Correspondent who monitored the registration exercise at NIMC office at the Federal Secretariat Complex located along Olu Obasanjo Way in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom sytate capital, observed that officials of the Commission collect One thousand Naira (N1000,00) from every person before issuing out National Identification Number Enrollment (NINE) Form to him or her to fill in the Bio data information and submit same for computer capturing.
The unreceipted sales of the form, when asked by our correspondent why the charges when the services should have been free, the issuing officer retorted in anger.
His reply, “This question you are asking me should better be referred to our Director since we are acting on instructions to charge and collect One thousand naira for the Form”, he said.
However, the strange charge do not go down well with the crowd filling in, in their hundreds daily to get registered for issuance of National ID. Card which contains NIN, thus making it optional for interested applicants to either pay the charge and the collect the Form or go.
Every complain concerning the new way of extortion to give services they are employed by federal government to render, fell on deaf ears of the Commission’s officials.
The development according to findings, attracted more groanings in local government areas as NIMC officials assigned charge between two thousand and three thousand Naira depending on who applicants meet for capturing.
NIMC official who reacted to the contrary from argument raised by a concerned applicants who queried the charge that every applicant was force to pay for the services rendered, said they resorted to charging money because the Commission’s office in the state has not been funded.
“NIMC office here is not funded by government so we charge money to enable us buy stationery and other necessary things. This includes buying of toner and papers for printing of NINE Form, maintenance of computers and fueling of the generating sets daily.
The complaint of non-funding of the NIMC office in Akwa Ibom as argued by the officials of the Commission is contrary to report that the federal government had approved enough money to ease the exercise free nationwide.
However, effort to speak with the state director of NIMC, Mr. Iwok was not successful because he was said to have been away from office.