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NIMC introduces booking system as applicants besiege centres for NIN

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Lagos residents waiting to register for the National Identity Number (NIN) at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

To reduce the difficulty faced by Nigerians eager to get their National Identity Number (NIN), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has introduced booking system for enrolment.

It is part of the new guidelines introduced by the commission, which
the spokesman, Kayode Adegoke, made known in a statement.

The statement partly reads: “Mindful of the second wave of the COVID-19 which continues to severely affect public health and cause unprecedented disruptions, the commission wishes to announce that it has adopted a couple of measures to contain the spread of the virus whilst ensuring its services to Nigerians are not entirely interrupted.

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“Effective December 30, 2020, attending to applicants would be based on booking system. For bookings, applicants are to visit any of the NIMC offices closest to them during stipulated business hours (9am – 1pm).

“Once admitted into the office, a number-issuing queue management system will be in place to ensure orderliness and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.”

The commission also urged all applicants to use their facemasks, observe social distancing and wash their hands while at its centres nationwide.

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ordered telecommunications companies to deactivate telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their phones to their NIN.

MEANWHILE, crowds have continued to besiege the offices of NIMC to get enrolled. Nigerians, in their hundreds, were seen at both NIMC offices in Abuja and Lagos in their quest to beat the deadline.

The Guardian observed that there was practical disregard for COVID-19 protocols as many people neither observed the required social distancing nor put on facemasks, at a time the virus is fast regaining influence across the country.

Some Nigerians, who spoke with The Guardian in Lagos expressed frustration over the entire exercise, describing it as ill-timed.

Emeka Ani, who claimed to have spent about 18 hours at the Alausa office of NIMC, said: “Even if they extend the time by six months, we cannot get these things sorted out. The matter is just complicated. How about our parents, even if we get our line linked, what of our parent? When will they be able to do their’s. I don’t just understand.”

Dupe Elijah said the booking system would still not make sense. “This does not make sense at all. Applicants have to go to NIMC office to book appointment? This changed nothing. Appointments are supposed to be booked online and applicants will only go to NIMC office on their appointment day. This is the effective way to achieve best result.”

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