National ID card with tears

National ID Card

THE new National ID Card registration process has been ongoing for quite a long time now. The registration has also been made mandatory. However, several problems currently hinder the smooth flow of the registration process.

One of such is the unnecessary stress that individuals experience in their attempts to register. When a person arrives at the office of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, usually located in the Local Government Council secretariat, one is asked to go to a nearby business centre or to visit a Cybercafé to download and print the registration/enrolment form from the NIMC’s website and bring back to the registration centre, usually on a specified date.

Is the NIMC registration centre ordinarily not supposed to be responsible for issuing the hard-copy of the enrolment forms free-of-charge to those wishing to register for the card? Must those wishing to register for the new National ID Card have to go to a Business Centre or a Cybercafé to get the enrolment form, at their own expense?

Then, on returning to the registration centre with the completed forms and other necessary documentation, people, including the elderly, can spend several hours, sometimes a whole day at the NIMC registration centre.

It has also been observed that Bank Verification Number (BVN) is usually requested when submitting the enrolment form. What about the people who do not have a bank account? Also, in this period of the Corona virus pandemic, many people are being exposed to unnecessary health risks, as they attempt to register for the new National ID Card, especially with the crowd that is almost always found around the registration centres. There is usually difficulty maintaining social distancing in those circumstances because of the usually small space that the NIMC office, compared to the crowd that is usually present at the registration centres.

At times also, the registration centres experience problems such as electric power outages, problems with their generating sets, and even problems with their computer networks which sometimes make it difficult for them to access the data associated with BVN numbers. When these problems arise, it adds to the stress and frustrations of the people. Some, after they have waited on the queue, standing for several hours, are even asked to go back home, without having accomplished what they have waited so painfully and patently for!

These include even the elderly, who also have to stand on queues for long periods of time. Hours that should have been better utilized on more productive engagements have been wasted at the registration centres, and this may even have occurred on several days/occasions.

Concerned authorities should kindly look into these issues, and make necessary inputs/adjustments, such as increasing the number of registration centres etc., in order to ease the stress and suffering currently being experienced by the masses.

The Nation

– Dec. 7, 2020 @ 13:21 |GMT |

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