NIN: NIMC, NIS Officials Extorting Applicants Nationwide – Nigerians Raise Alarm

Public Conscience On Radio. Supported By MacArthur Foundation

National Identification Number (NIN) applicants have decried widespread extortion by officials of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) at enrollment centers across the nation.
The alarm was raised by discussants during an anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on RADIO, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The NewsGuru Newspapers had recently published an investigative report which indicted NIMC staff and officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) of colluding to rip-off passport applicants who have challenge updating their information at NIN enrollment center located inside the premises of NIS Headquarters, Abuja.
While giving details of the coordinated extortion ring run by NIMC and NIS officials, Deputy Editor at NewsGuru Newspapers, Oyibo Ediri said that the staff of the two government agencies work in synergy to explore the bureaucracy around synchronization of data and in so doing exploit Nigerians applying for their international passport.
Ediri who stressed that the pervasive fraud is applicable at the NIMC and NIS offices at the state level disclosed that Nigerians seeking their international passport give between N15,000 and N100,000 depending on the circumstance.
“The fee goes for as high as N15,000 for individuals and N100,000 for families to get the data of family members corrected at NIMC and to get the NIN number to drop on the central database of the NIMC.
“When you are trying to apply for your international passport at the Immigration office and your data comes out invalid, they will now refer you to NIMC to correct your data or they would offer to assist you to correct the data for a sum in order for them to assist you with it but when you get to the NIMC office they jump the mandatory process put in place by the NIMC for you to get your data corrected.
“So, they will now tell you to pay a certain amount to get your NIN number,” Ediri narrated.
He lamented the lack of action by the authorities since publishing the report and revealed that their (NewsGuru) next line of action would be to release names of those involved in this brazen corruption.
On his part, a public affairs analyst, Lukman Adefolahan stated that he was not surprised by the corruption and coordinated cases of extortion by officials of NIMC and NIS, stressed that it is high time the government harmonized Nigeria’s data system and stop duplicating efforts with public resources.
“Let government coordinate the data system in Nigerian and stop duplicating public funds, INEC is capturing, NIMC is capturing, FRSC is capturing, Nigeria Immigration Service is capturing, why, Adefolahan questioned.
He warned that the dangers of such existing fraud are that Nigeria will not be taken seriously in the comity of nations, and called on citizens to work closely with media organizations, civil society organizations while asking the government to see civil society groups and the media as partners and not foes in the fight against corruption.
Nigerians who called into the program said they were been asked to pay the various amount of money at the NIN enrollment centers they visited. Here are some of their complaints: Enoch from Kuje said, “When I went to my home town in Benue State to do my NIN, we were asked to pay N1000 to be registered.”
Blessing from Mararaba, Nasarawa State said,” I paid N700 to get my NIN done.”
Another caller, Isah said when he registered NIN in Ebonyi State, he spent N1100 before he could be registered. While an anonymous caller from Garki, Abuja said he was asked to pay N200 for fuel in the NIN enrollment center he visited.
PRIMORG also revealed that the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz failed to join the programme or send a representative after duly inviting him last week.
Concerned over the massive outcry by Nigerians, the Executive Director of PRIMORG, Okhiria Agbonsuremi, however, promised that the subject will be discussed again next week to have more Nigerians tell their stories, as well as give NIMC and NIS the opportunity to respond to all the allegations and concerns raised by citizens.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

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