Following the mad rush by Nigerians to obtain their National Identification Number (NIN) to link their SIM cards as directed by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) officials across the country have cashed in on this to begin an extortion spree.
One of such NIMC centres that have been milking Nigerians dry is the Akwa Ibom State office located at the Federal Secretariat Uyo, where the NIMC officials are allegedly seen collecting various amounts from individuals to facilitate the processing of the compulsory National Identification Number.
According to a source, Michael Umoren who visited the centre to get his NIN “ when I got to the office, one of the NIMC official rushed to me offering to get my NIN ready within 2 hours if I pay N5,000, but I will have to wait for about two weeks before getting the number if I pay N1000. When I Insisted that the registration is supposed to be free, he told me that I will have to return in three months to do the registration because they are only attending to those who will either pay the imposed N5,000 or N1,000 due to the crowd”.
He also averred that those who arrived at the centre early in the morning were given numbers and asked to form a long queue but this was quickly forgotten as the attention was moved to those who either paid N5,000 or N1,000.
Angered by the charade, Michael who made to leave the centre to another registration centre was quickly advised against it by the crowd who had already paid either amount alleging that other centres charge higher than the state office for the registration hence the mammoth crowd at the office.
Due to the lucrative nature of these malfeasances, some NIMC officials at the Federal Secretariate Uyo we learned allegedly recruited agents who will help direct ‘clients’ who are willing to pay N5,000 for the speedy processing of the NIN. Many Nigerians particularly Akwaibomites have since condemned the act by the NIMC officials in the State as some residents unlike those who have paid the imposed fee preferred to either wait notwithstanding how long it will take for them to get their NIN registration or give up their SIM cards if need be than pay the sum of money allegedly demanded by the Identity thieves at the Federal Secretariat Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.