Enrollees at NIMC in Kogi raise alarm over extortion
Enrollees seeking to obtain the National Identity Cards at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) centres in Kogi State have raised alarm over alleged subtle extortion by registration officials.
Even as it is boldly displayed at the centers that enrollment is free of charge some of the staff have engaged in the brisk business taking the N200 each from applicants under the pretence of lack of electricity.
At one of the registration centres in Lokoja, an applicant, Glory Daniel said her concern was drawn by the magnitude of enrollees saying that if every enrollee should pay N200 each for ‘fuel’ it would amount to naked extortion.
She explained that she was made to pay N200 to cover the cost of fuel and lamination of card printout.
Another applicant, Isah Abutu said it was heart rendering to see registrants being tasked to pay for fuel, which should ordinarily be provided by the federal government.
He said some of the applicants came in from some far away villages under the yoke of the present hardship and yet some persons are adding more burden to their already hopeless condition.
Similar scenario is said to be happening in other centres across the state.
However, The Guardian checks revealed that non-release of adequate funds from the national headquarters of NIMC to its state office is prompting extortion at the various registration centres across the state.
It was learnt that there are more than 20 NIMC registration centres across the 21 local government areas of Kogi State but lack of funds is hampering the smooth operations of those centres.
Most of the centres don’t have power supply and as such, registration officials depend heavily on generators to power the systems.
Sources said that the fund being allocated to the state office was grossly inadequate to meet the cost of running the centres, thus creating room for registration officials to demand for fuel money from applicants.
An official at the NIMC office in Lokoja who spoke on condition of anonymity, said registration officials were not asked to collect money from applicants.
He, however, explained that due to funding challenge and power supply problems in most of the centres, applicants who wish to contribute money on their on volition to buy fuel to get registered were allowed to do so, adding that they were not forced to do so.
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