Life in Nigeria will become better if everyone is captured by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The agency has been exercising its mandate via various means. Although many rightly argue that they could have deployed better techniques and technology to capture and manage Nigerians’ data.
NIMC went into partnership with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to make the National Identity Number (NIN) a requirement for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) — the exam required for admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
This means that nobody aspiring to enroll in a Nigerian tertiary institution can do that without being captured by the NIMC and given an NIN. Many students have been gathering at NIMC centers nationwide to get registered.
The next big move of NIMC’s is their partnership with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) — to enforce NIN registration. While it is a good move to have all SIMs linked to NINs, it would not yield the desired results if NIMC continue to look this overwhelmed with getting all Nigerians registered.
For example, across the state offices of the NIMC, people are always seen clustering to get registered and some go home — never registered — after many failed attempts. This has led to the unscrupulous elements in the commission, charging desperate Nigerians between N1,500 and N5,000 for a registration that the federal government has made free. And it is not a rumour. any serious person wishing to find this out, can disguise as a non-registered fellow.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the least they charge — even at the Aba Road office, is N3,000. Those whose cards have been printed out are also asked to pay money to collect their National ID cards. And no receipts are issued for all these illegal payments. This shows a high level of support for corruption, on the part of the NIMC. If they wish to discourage this, they should mount cameras at their offices and set up the modalities to receive feedbacks from Nigerians. So corruption cases can be promptly reported.
5 importance of National Identification Number
Note that the National ID Card and the National Identification Number are used interchangeably here since there cannot be a National ID Card without an NIN. Here are 5 reasons why the National Identification Number is very important:
- Security: A National ID Card accords one the rights and privileges due every Nigerian — in any part of the country. It proves one a Nigerian, not some hoodlum who jumped immigration procedures.
- Mobile phone tracking: Most common crimes in Nigeria — especially kidnapping and cybercrime are committed using a mobile phone. Now, with the linking of phone numbers to NIN, every phone used in Nigeria could easily be tracked in the event of crime.
- Social intervention Programs: The long and tedious registration processes for many social investment programs can be discouraging. But with a National Identification Number, people can get credit alerts directly from the federal government under a social intervention program.
- Coherent data system: Every society needs accurate data in order to know the developmental needs of their citizens. Nigeria has not been able to carry out a national census as required, but the National Identification Number can provide accurate data on the population of people in Nigeria. This would guide the government in planning and allocation of the federal resources.
- Identity-related issues: It will get to a time when people would not have to fill long forms or provide an identification card — because by merely inserting their National Identification Number, all the required information would pop up from the NIMC database — verifying their identity or otherwise.