Blessing Olaifa, Abuja and Emma Elekwa, Onitsha

 

THE National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced the opening of 20 enrollment centres in Abuja.

This followed the closure of its headquarters in the nation’s capital city.

In a statement at the weekend in Abuja, NIMC said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, approved the reactivation of 20 centres to make the process of the National Identification Number (NIN) easier.

This, it said, would start from today, January 18, 2021.

“Members of the public, residents and visitors to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) wishing to enroll for the NIN should use any of the NIMC centers,” the statement said.

Large crowds have besieged NIMC centres across the country following a directive from the ministry that subscribers of telecommunications networks link their NIN to their SIM cards.

This happened as activists, under the aegis of Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), called for immediate overhaul of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

This followed alleged failure trailing the incorporation of the National Identification Number (NIN) into the SIM cards of GSM users in the country.

It also called for the immediate removal of its chief executive and other top management workers.

In a statement yesterday by its Executive Director, Dede Uzor Uzor, HURIDE said: “Forcing people to get NIN in their handsets will be counter-productive in view of its stress and negative implications on the economy.

“Some Nigerians have applied for the card for over five years; yet, they have not been issued with the National ID cards.

“That’s why we are calling for the immediate overhaul of NIMC with its Chief Executive and other top management workers shown the way out…”

Also, the Federal Government has said it is mandatory for foreign diplomats to obtain the NIN.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said the special centre would be managed by the ministry.

A statement in Abuja by his Technical Assistant, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, reads: “The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has approved the setting up of a NIN enrolment centre at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The desk will be set up by Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

“This enrolment centre will provide support for members of the Diplomatic Corps and will be managed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, through the National Identity Management Commission.

“The centre is being set up based on the request of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to simplify the process for diplomats.

“The NIN is mandatory for diplomats who will reside in Nigeria for a continuous period of two years or more.”

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