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NIMC Corruption: To Enroll For Your NIN, You Must Pay Up To Five Thousand Naira

For officials of the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC), the closure of their offices due to COVID-19 has created an avenue for corruption and exploitation of Nigerians seeking to register for their National Identity Number (NIN).

 

NIMC officials have resorted to moving their office equipment to makeshift locations, paradoxically, with more speed and efficiency all over the state.

 

The NIN was created as a unique number to be used in identifying Nigerians by matching their biometric data and other details in the National Identity Database. The number is supposed to be essential for all citizens and a factor of identity verification in all types of transactions.

 

However, due to COVID-19 and several lockdown guidelines, the usual venues for such enrollments, the local governments, are largely closed. This hasn’t put a stop to the enrollment though, instead, it has created an avenue for NIMC corruption.

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For example; to enroll for the NIN in Ikeja local government, you will hit a brick wall, except you are willing to pay. The NIMC officials have ‘agents’ hanging around the Ikeja Local Government gate that will send ‘clients’ their way. There are also allies in the banking halls that direct people who need the service for opening accounts to these officials.

 

The MO is this, they know you need a NIN, so they cash in on the desperation of Nigerians even though it is free.

 

— On getting to the Ikeja Local Government on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, and stating your mission,

 

— the official at the gate tells you they are not opened due to COVID-19 and you stand there distraught,

 

— their ‘agent’ approaches you and confirms you really want to do the NIN,

 

— then he tells you the amount is seven thousand Naira, then you bargain,

 

— however, he won’t go less than five thousand Naira and in some cases six thousand Naira. After all, he didn’t come to Lagos to count bridges.

 

— he then takes you to the building across the local government, the one next to the pharmacy. There are several ‘business centers’ in there but the favoured ones duplicate and sell the forms which you will have to buy for one hundred Naira.

 

— after filling the form, he staples 5,000 Naira in the middle of the form and gives you the phone number of who you will be meeting and where the ‘location’ for that day will be.

 

— you go on your way and he monitors you. On getting to the NIN registration venue for that day, the contact you are given ushers you in and you join other ‘desperate’ Nigerians for the NIN enrollment.

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Unlike the normal process where there are long queues, paying for it means; fewer queues and you get the NIN number under one hour.

 

Before now, the group used to operate the corrupt NIN enrollment out of a car park on Akinremi Street, Anifowose. Apparently, they had to change location to Mechanic Village in Alausa, Ikeja as that address was no longer suitable for their purpose. The venue is just across the Nigerian Immigration Office, after the UBA branch on the road.

 

Getting there you would not even suspect a thing as you’ll need proper information to get to the venue. The compound is very unassuming with mechanics, technicians and automobile engineers attending to their business.

 

The site is actually a dilapidated two-room fenced inside the Mechanic Village. A generator and an extension are set up to provide power. One of the rooms serves as the waiting area and the other one as the enrollment area. When it’s your turn, you enroll and wait for like 10 minutes to get your slip.

 

If you’re in doubt, call 07026214400 and say Mr Gift sent you to enroll for NIN. Like the Mechanic Village Location in Alausa, their other locations with a similar operation for differing prices across Lagos.

 

Corruption in the NIMC; Government officials cashing out from what should be free service, just another day in Nigeria.

 

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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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