NIMC Has Failed Nigerians | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NIMC Has Failed Nigerians

Posted: May 23, 2015 at 12:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, was established about nine years ago under the NIMC Act No 23 of 2007 with the mandate of producing sensitive computer-based identity card for all Nigerian adults, thereby keeping a national data base for Nigerian citizens from age 18 and above. However, it has been able to produce about one million cards, an average of 100 cards every year. I must say that this is a far cry from the expectations of Nigerians. Yet, some hundreds of million are appropriated and released for its operations annually.

Without mincing words, this agency is a monumental failure, it has disappointed millions of Nigerians. And without fear of contradiction, the NIMC is one of the bad legacies of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP controlled government bequeathed to the All Progressive Congress, APC controlled Federal Government. This failed institution is one of those the no-nonsense General, President Mohammad Buhari must beam his serchlight! The current management must account for the billions of tax payers’ money wasted with less than a million cards to show for it.

I was incensed and scandalized as a Nigerian when I saw members of staff of the NIMC on national TV network news protesting alleged injustice meted out to them by the management. They alleged among others, that the management was inensitive to workers’ welfare, irregularity in the employment process that smark’s off corruption on the part of top management staff, as a result of this irregularity, about one thousand of them were layed off without due process, threatening to send more into the labour market. Above all, they alleged that the sack was carried out despite a subsisting court order. Consequently, they called for the sack of the management and a thorough probe into its operations over the years. It was however not the first time the staff of NIMC would protest against the management. I must say that this is a new Nigeria with the coming of Buhari as the President and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces. The era of impunity is over, the era of business as usual is over, it’s a new dawn! So, everybody and every government institution must key into it.

I was at the Edo State office of NIMC in Benin September 2014 to obtain the national I’D card. From the security men who man the gate to the staff at the reception down to  those who attend to you in the processing hall, they all wore long faces and highly aggressive, no smiles. All these are tell tales of frustrations.. Unfortunately, their actions are misdirected at innocent Nigerians who are eager to obtain the all-important document. In fact, my experience on that fateful day was akin to the proverbial camel passing through the eye of a needle. The location of the state office itself is suspect. Whoever got the lungu called office has questions to answer. The office tucked away in one remote area, off Sample Road was poorly partitioned, air conditioned units were seen to have been installed and working, yet, the heat was highly unbearable, something close to hell! One thing was however clear, either the air conditions were not working, just put there to adorn the offices or they were not just enough to cool the place given the size of the poorly partitioned offices withing the massive compkex. Well, it could be another failure on the part of management.

After about six hours of passing through a number of road blacks, I was left off the hook with the verbal message, “we will call your telephone number as soon as your card is ready”. This was equally printed on the temporary slip handed over to me on completion of the tortures process.

Behold, nine months after, no call from NIMC as promised. Only last week, I decided that if mountain does not go to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. I got to the office to enquire about my card. Right from the gate, it looked deserted but for the few vehicles of some of the officials, I had thought they had relocated. The expansive compound was overgrown with weeds! With faith, I sauntered to the reception, met some persons who had come for the same purpose. We were told that we should continue to expect the call which seems elusive. I screamed and told the receptionists that I could not continue to wait for their call after about a year. There and then I demanded to see the most senior official on ground to lay my complain. The hapless receptionist quietly called me aside and told me that there was no diesel to power the generator, except if I could wait or repeat the call after three hours. He said they rely on the public power to operate, adding that it’s rotated every three hours.

Whatever way one sees it, it’s simply scandalous for such an important agency of the federal government to rely on public power for its operations in this era of epileptic power. Without stating the obvious, NIMC symbolises the rot in the clueless Jonathan government . Thank God for saving Nigeria and Nigerians. Another four years in the hands of the PDP would have been suicidal.