Why is it so difficult to register for a national ID card in Nigeria?


The characteristics of a developed society are not only to be rich in natural resources or reserves, or the availability of quality human resources, but also to have a functioning society with optimal standards and structures in place. It involves justice and fairness for all, regardless of creed, race, ethnicity, religion, belief system and gender. No wonder that in Nigeria we often hear the phrase – healthier climates. In recent times, there has been a wave of registration for the National Identity Card in Nigeria, of which a national identification number will be issued.

This saw the creation of the National Identity Management Commission in 2007 through the NIMC Law No.23 of 2007 responsible for managing the database of national identity cards of Nigeria, integrating the identity database existing in government institutions, to register individuals and legal residents, to assign a unique national identification. number and by introducing general multipurpose cards.

However, since the creation of this commission and its mandate, there have been a series of challenges, some institutional, others of human origin. This explains why it has become a Herculean task to capture Nigerians, whether at home or abroad, while some captured have not yet obtained their original national identity cards.

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There is no doubt that there was laxity on the part of some Nigerians in the registration of the national identity card until it became important to update bank accounts, SIM cards for employment, etc. running establishments as well as certain tendencies towards corruption.

According to personal observations and eyewitness reports, Nigerians wishing to register and obtain their national identification number must go to some registration centers as early as 4 a.m. It has even gotten worse as some people are now sleeping in registration centers overnight to make sure they are captured.

Another impact is the monetization of the process which should be free as stated on the National Identity Management Commission website. It has been reported that citizens pay as little as 100 naira in some registration centers up to 1000 naira to register and obtain a national identification number. All of these points to how difficult it is to register and get the national ID number.

There was some form of collaboration with some banks which saw Zenith and Guaranty Trust Bank being involved in the Nigerians registration process. At present, Guaranty Trust Bank is no longer involved while Zenith Bank is still involved, although limited in some places.

It was only recently that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) put a damper on the idea that from 2020 only those with the national ID number will be allowed to register for the exam. of the jamb. This had created panic as many students were already rushing to beat the January deadline of next year when the JAMB forms go on sale.

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One wonders how it is possible to capture every Nigerian who will sit for JAMB given the ineffectiveness of the National Identity Management Commission?

What are the arrangements in place to ensure that bona fide Nigerians who wish to serve on the JAMB are not turned away due to failure to register the national identity card?

What steps and modalities will the National Identity Management Commission take to ensure that the registration of this national identity card is not stressful and hellish for Nigerians?

How will the National Identity Management Commission deal with allegations of corruption and extortion that characterize some of its centers?

There is an urgent need to review and improve the process. The issue of national identity card needs to be handled efficiently so that it is very easy for Nigerians to register and get their ID number in the same way as ATM cards (DAB ) are available in banks.

The idea of ​​working with banks should be strongly encouraged with every bank involved so that Nigerians can easily register with the banks they operate with and get their ID number. This will reduce the desperation of Nigerians who sleep in some registration centers or fall prey to extortion at the mercy of greedy NIMC staff.

There should also be the creation of more locations outside of local government headquarters and graduate schools currently used as places of registration.

The importance of capturing Nigerians cannot be overstated, hence the need to ensure the efficiency and ease of the process of registering and obtaining the national identification number.

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Igebina Albert

Igebina Albert currently resides in Lagos and is a political scientist. I love to explore the world and tell stories. I believe the world can be better when we think of humanity.


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