Consumers of telecoms services under the auspices of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers have stated that the country has a long way to go in terms of issuing National Identity Numbers, expressing concerns about how applicants are being extorted at the various official registration points amid poor service delivery.
According to the association’s President, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, it can cost up to ₦10,000 to obtain a NIN in a short period, and ₦5,000 in one week.
He alleged that officials of the National Identity Management Commission at Alausa now connive with “agents” to extort NIN applicants.
He said, “I visited some of the NIN centres, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. At the independent centres, you have to pay before they attend to you. But when you go to the NIMC office at Alausa, they have agents.
If you want your NIN the day you register for it, you will have to part with ₦10,000. If you must collect it the following day or within a week, you will part with ₦5,000. The minister can send someone to the mufti to confirm this.
It is an open racket. It is cheaper outside. If you want to get your NIN from independent agents, you will pay a smaller fee of about ₦1,000 to ₦2,000, but they will give you a tracking number for two or more weeks. With them, you won’t be able to get your actual NIN card until much later”.
According to Punch News, Ogunbanjo claims that NIMC officials appear to be unable to upload all of the data they receive, allowing them to selectively upload data and allegedly rip off Nigerians.
He added, “The NIMC cannot upload all the data that is coming from everywhere in the country. Because of this, they selectively upload data and make money off it at Alausa.
The capacity of the NIMC is very limited for now, they do not have the capacity for big uploads, and this is fueling the extortion going at the NIMC’s office. They have agents. And this is very unfortunate. You now have to pay to get a NIN.
Their agents collect money from you, this is extortion and exploitation, and it is uncalled for. This impacts on the people’s willingness to want to get their NINs”.
He went on to say that this would only cause further delays in the SIM-NIN linkage process.