The National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, has vowed to deal decisively with any of its staff members caught extorting money from enrollees for their National Identification Number, NIN.
The NIMC Acting Director-General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, made this known during an unscheduled visit to the FCT office of the commission on Tuesday.
She said the commission would not tolerate continued acts of extortion from its members, and harassment of Nigerians, saying all enrollment was free.
According to her, modifications in signatures, enrollment errors and Date of Birth should be paid through bank remittances of N500 and N15,000 respectively, noting that all other enrollment should not be paid for.
She said data is a critical infrastructure and should be treated as a national asset, saying modifications of any information would only be allowed if made with sworn affidavits.
The acting D-G, however, advised Nigerians to report incident of extortion or harassment in the course of their enrollment to its offices.
“So regarding extortion, NIN is free in Nigeria, there is no reason why you should pay for enrollment, It is free. If you call me or give anybody money or you go to any of the NIMC offices, you are adding to the problem.
“You know if we all keep saying it, we have to be better, Let’s also practice it as Charity begins at home, if there’s any issue, go to the website.
“There are channels there for you to escalate the matter. I am actually getting that feedback directly myself and addressing it”.
Mrs Coker-Odusote said the commission had cleared over 2.5 million backlog of modifications, saying all issues delaying the processing of national identity cards for Nigerians would be addressed within two weeks.
On the challenges of broken down and outdated systems, slow network connectivity and others, she said all issues were being addressed, saying the Renewed Hope agenda of this present administration would reposition data management in the country.
The FCT NIMC Coordinator, Ndi Awan, spoke about the uncomfortable working environment, slow network connectivity and activities of touts around the premises.
“Our challenge is many but let me talk about the issue of poor network, we usually find it difficult to upload biometrics of enrollment.
“We are also short-staffed, our officers are not enough to handle the number of people coming in, this makes the system and process slow”.
She said the commission would continue to play its part in providing a secured and universally recognised identity management system for Nigeria.
During the visit, one staff was apprehended for extorting N25,000, while another posed as an enrollee, deceiving unsuspecting people about helping them with their NIN.
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