Nigeria

National ID Card: Ipaja residents want NIMC to ease enrolment, collection

Some residents of Ayobo/Ipaja area of Lagos State on Thursday appealed to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ease the process of enrolment and collection of National Identity Card.

The applicants, who lamented their experiences, spoke to newsmen at the NIMC Enrolment Centre at the Secretariat of Ayobo/Ipaja Local Government Area (LCDA).

Newsmen report that a large crowd of residents were seen at the centre either trying to enrol or collect the temporary National Identity Card, for which they had enrolled.

A resident, Mr Kolawole Banjo, said that the process for enrolment for the National ID card was too cumbersome.

Banjo told newsmen that he had attempted to enrol for the Identity card at the centre on three occasions without success.

He said officials always complained of inadequate materials or malfunctioning system, saying he was at the centre on Thursday again to check.

“Enrolling for the National ID card is very difficult. I had been here three times before now and it is either they said the system was down or they did not have enough materials.

“You always meet this large crowd here anytime you come. I came here as early as 4 a.m. to see if my data will be captured at last.

“I have completed a form and this is 11 a.m. I am still waiting,’’ he said.

Banjo urged the commission to address whatever challenges they were having in order not to undermine the objective of capturing all Nigerians.

Another resident, Mr Adetunji Oginni, said he was having difficulty collecting his National Identity Number (NIN), which is the temporary identity slip, after enroling more than three weeks ago.

Oginni said he was asked to come for collection on Thursday but was disappointed to be told that the temporary ID card was not ready.

“I did enrolment three weeks ago and I was asked to come for NIN today but they just told me the card was not ready after waiting for several hours.

“The way they are going about this thing is not the way it should be. If the NIMC wants to give Nigerians identity card, they should simplify things for us,’’ he said.

A Civil Servant, Mrs Abigail Edoh, said she came for enrolment as the NIN was needed for update by her Pension Fund Administrator.

She, however, said it had been difficult getting her data captured as she was always waiting in vain due to the long queues of crowd.

“I have taken permission from work to be here on two occasions and it is always crowded here; even if you come by 5 a.m.

“I have submitted my form, waiting to be called for capturing but with this crowd, I can only pray it gets to my turn today as I am number 109 on the list.

“Honestly, the whole thing is frustrating; something has to be done,’’ Edoh said.

A Student, Miss Tinuke Odunewu, alleged that NIMC officials were deliberately making things difficult so as to force people to bargain with them for quick service to enrol residents and issue NIN slip.

Odunewu said she had been at the centre since 4:30 a.m. to enroll, only to see officials attending to people who came hours later.

“The officials are behind all this stress. How do you explain a situation where you came here as early as 4:30 a.m. only to see these people attending to people who came four, five hours later?

“If it is business they want to do, they should tell us to leave. I am tired of waiting, getting the National ID shouldn’t be this stressful,’’ she said.

An official of NIMC at the centre who pleaded anonymity, denied officials created the stress the applicants were going through.

He said that the challenge at the centre was inadequate number of equipment and materials to serve the people.

The official said the incessant power outages at the council secretariat, from where the centre operated was hindering efficient service delivery.

“It is not true that we are the ones behind these problems. The issue here is capacity.

“We have only one computer to serve the people and most times, we have power outage and that affects our service.

“Again, the number of NIN papers, which is customised, allocated from the head office to us on a daily basis is limited.

“On Aug. 29, we were given 100 and today only 80. So, if you have 300 or 500 people coming for the NIN slip daily, what do you do?

“These are the issues, nobody is creating any stress. I came to this centre at 4 a.m. today just to make sure we attend to people and it is those that are early that will get whatever we have. That is the sad reality,’’ he said.

The official said the centre had many computers when it was newly-opened two years ago but said all but one of the computers had been taken to other centres due to low patronage.

The official urged those having difficulties to enrol at the centre to try any of the other seven centres or the NIMC head office in Alausa.

He also advised residents to always register for national documents on time to avoid the usual difficulties of doing so much later.

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