Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said on Friday that it takes five minutes for each Nigerian to complete the National Identification Number registration at any National Identity Management Commission offices nationwide.
“You can complete the form virtually without visiting any office but there are things that require you (to be there) physically like your biometrics; you cannot submit your biometrics without you (being there) physically.
“Each person takes around three to five minutes to complete the registration and go as long as you have completed your form,” he said while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme monitored by newsmen.
On the crowds that besiege NIMC offices nationwide, Pantami said 95 per cent of NIN applicants appear at the agency’s offices without being invited.
The minister added, “Citizens will go there, their names are not part of those to be captured but they will go and stay at the gates, and if you ask them to leave they will not. Even the security agencies plead with them but they will not go.
“All the crowds you have been seeing in Abuja or Lagos, 90 per cent or even 95 per cent of them were not part of those invited to be captured. They only go there and stay outside the gates.”
He also said NIMC workers did not inform the ministry of their demands and grievances before embarking on strike.
The minister said he had written the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, for an onward review of the salaries of NIMC staff.
Newsmen had earlier reported that NIMC workers called off the strike just some 24 hours after they declared an industrial action over exposure to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment and poor funding.
The Federal Government through the Nigerian Communication Commission had ordered telecommunications companies to deactivate telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their phones to their National Identity Number.
It also said telcos subscribers with NIN have January 19 as deadline to link their NIN with their SIM cards while subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to do so.