By Edeki Igafe
Warri (Delta), Jan. 7, 2021 Residents in Warri and environs enrolling for the National Identification Number (NIN) have appealed to the Federal Government to decentralise the ongoing registration process in the country.
They told newsmen on Thursday in Warri that the development would ease the process which they described as “cumbersome’’.
The applicants expressed displeasure over the nationwide shutdown of registration by management of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
NAN recalls that NIMC unit of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) had directed its members to embark on an indefinite strike over risk of exposure to COVID-19 among others.
Mr Abdulmojeed Sodimu, said he arrived the venue of the registration in Warri South at about 5 a.m. on Thursday and was number 100 on the list.
“I have been here since 5:00 a.m. and I was number 100 on the list. I could not wait till 8:00 a.m. when the staff would resume.
“When I returned to the venue, I was told that they are on strike.
“I want to appeal to the government to decentralise the process. It should be done in every Ward to make it easier.
“They should employ ad-hoc staff if they lack manpower to ease the work, the suffering is just too much for us,” Sodimu said.
Another applicant, Mr Simeon Opukeme said that the process should be extended to the communities to ease the cost of transportation.
“I came from Batan Flow station in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta.
“It cost N3,000 to come and N3500 to return to my community in the creek by boat.
“The other time I came here, we were more than 500 persons waiting to get registered.
“They should do it in each Local Government Area and visit communities.
“That will be the best because many people in my community cannot come here because of the cost of transportation,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Babalake Omolomo who expressed disappointment at the development said that he trekked for more than three kilometers to the venue.
“Government should do it the way the voters’ registration exercise was done to ease the process,’’ he said.
Mrs Esther Monday also suggested that the exercise should be done in every Local Government Area.
“I decided to come today only to be told that they have shutdown the exercise.
“This is not the right thing, it should be done same way the voters card registration was done where everybody had to go to their local government.
“It will be better than everybody coming to this place for the enrollment. There is COVID-19 pandemic,’’ she said.
A senior management staff of NIMC who did not want his name mentioned attributed the rising cases of COVID-19 pandemic to crowdedness of people at a location.