By Olayinka Owolewa
Ilorin, Jan. 4, 2021 Scores of prospective registrants for the National Identity Number (NIN) in Kwara, on Monday, expressed their frustration over the difficulty in registering at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices in Ilorin.
The residents, in their numbers, who claimed to have come from various Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state, said they had been stranded at the NIMC office on Asa Dam road.
The people, including nursing mothers and the aged, decried the slow pace of registration and alleged extortion by NIMC officials.
In his reaction, Mr Paul Popoola, NIMC state coordinator, told journalists that the allegations of extortion were not true, explaining that there were fees for some services people were supposed to pay for and that was what they called extortion.
According to him, some of the services to be paid for include, Change of name, change of date of birth, reprint of slip and SMS services, among others.
He advised the registrants to visit the commission’s website to get further details of the fees and services.
The coordinator also said the commission was doing everything possible to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols through what he called ”the booking system”.
“We allow people to put down their names and give them a later date to come for their registration but many of them won’t leave. We don’t allow anyone without complying with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, into our premises” Popoola said.
He lamented that although the commission had offices in all the 16 LGAs of the state before now, but only six were presently functioning, adding that the commission was still registering no fewer than 250 to 300 people daily.
NAN observed that some of the registrants at the NIMC office neither observed social distancing nor were they wearing face masks.
They pleaded with the Federal Government to make the registration easier using their local governments of residence.
One of the residents, Opeyemi Soremi, decried the long wait to be able to register, saying she had been at the centre since 5:00am.
Also, a nursing mother, Mrs Rashidat Abdulbaki, said she was denied entrance into the commission’s premises, advising that the centre should be decentralised, to make the process easier for prospective registrants.
Another registrant, Musibau Sanni, alleged that the commission’s staff charged them some amount of money before they could attend to them, explaining that amounts ranging from N200 to N500 per person were charged for faster processing of the card.