With the short deadline given for obtaining the National Identity card number for use of sim cards, residents of Ondo State have besieged the agency in their thousands.

This aside from increasing the spread of COVID 19, has resulted in officials of the agency extorting desperate residents.

Such people have to part with between N2000 and N5000.

In order to achieve their aim, the NIM staff create bottle necks deliberately to frustrate the people  in a bid to extort them.

Applicants spoken to said some of the Commission’s staff demanded for money for their registration to be fast tracked.

Another applicant, Mrs, Rebecca Oladapo said she bought the registration form from a little girl who later took her to a man who put her data down and asked her to pay N2000 for the registration

Mrs. Rebecca said she was asked to come back the following day but could not be registered on the following day.

She disclosed that she has been going to the registration centre for the past one week without any fruitful result.

It was the same story at Oka Akoko and Owo registration centers where a large number of people were seen waiting to be registered.

At the Oke Mapo Town Hall office of the agency in Owo, a large crowd of people waiting to be registered for the National Identify Card were seen loitering around the place.

Some young girls and men were seen clutching leaflets purpoted to be NIN registration forms to their chests and running after any available person they set their eyes upon soliciting for patronage.

Staff of the agency approach residents for faster registration at an agreed price.

An applicant who prefers anonymity, disclosed that he and others have been experiencing difficulty in registering for the Identity card.

The applicant said the ultimatum given by the government is responsible for the large crowd who besiege the registration centers on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, thousand of applicants have been locked outside of the offices of the National Identity Management Commission following a strike embarked on by NIMC staff.

The notice of strike was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael and its Secretary, Odia Victor.

It read in part, “Consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members on grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing.

“All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive.”

The Nigerian Communications Commission had last month asked all telecoms firms to disconnect the SIM cards of

persons who have not integrated their National Identity Numbers with their phone lines by the end of January.

Currently, over 100 million Nigerians have yet to do so andcthis has led to huge crowds at the various offices of NIMC, in breach of the COVID-19 protocol.

According to a communiqué issued at the end of the congress meeting of the ACCSN, NIMC branch, the strike had become necessary due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion and poor funding.

The notice of strike was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and it’s Secretary, Odia Victor.

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