The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has revealed that it takes 5 minutes for each of the applicants to complete its National Identification Number (NIN) registration at any of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices across the country.
This clarification by the Minister follows a series of complaints by Nigerians about the discomfort and long delays they face while performing the NIN registration.
This disclosure was made by the Minister while appearing on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, on Friday, January 8, 2021.
What the Communications Minister is saying
Pantami during the interview said,
“Each person takes around three to five minutes to complete the registration and go as long as you have completed your form. You can complete the form virtually without visiting any office but there are things that requires you (to be there) physically like your biometrics; you cannot submit your biometrics without you (being there) physically.”
While reacting to questions on the huge crowd that throng the various NIMC offices nationwide, the Minister said 95% of applicants appear at the agency’s offices without being invited.
The Minister lamented that despite the government’s directives for Nigerians to observe the Covid-19 protocols while registering, the applicants have disregarded such directives. He said,
“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% or even 95% of them were not part of those invited to be captured.
They only go there and stay outside the gates.”
On the deadline linking NIN to SIM cards, Pantami refuted the earlier claims that it was 2 weeks.
The Minister pointed out that the exercise was first announced in February 2020 and communicated to the NIMC and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
He also disclosed that NIMC workers did not inform the ministry of their demands and grievances before embarking on strike.
What you should know
It can be recalled that since the announcement of the deadline given to the NCC and Telecom operators to disconnect subscribers who do not link their NIN with their SIM by the Federal Government, there has been numerous complaints and criticisms by Nigerians over the process of the exercise.
They have complained of long delays and inefficiencies experienced during the exercise.