The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has said that telecommunications companies have been licensed to register people who do not have National Identity Numbers.
This is in order to reduce the large crowds at the offices of the NIMC; according to a statement by the commission.
The Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said some other private; as well as public organisations had also been licensed by the Commission to provide NINs. This is in order to address the crowds at the Commission’s offices.
This disclosure comes in the aftermath of strike action by NIMC workers on January 7, 2021; in protest against the poor welfare issues at the commission. However, their strike was suspended after the intervention of the minister.
In response to an inquiry as regards measures taken by NIMC with respect to complaints by Nigerians; Aziz said mobile network operators had been empowered to issue the identity numbers.
“We have licensed private and public sector organisations including telcos (telecommunications companies) so as to create more centres,” he stated.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020; all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement. Also, it gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.
On the meeting between NIMC workers and the Communication Minister, the President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC Unit, Asekokhai Lucky, said some resolutions were reached.
He said the minister told the union that some of the demands being presented by the workers were new to him, as he only took over the supervisory role of NIMC in October 2020.
“So what he Pantami did was to set up a seven-man committee to work on the issues and submit a report to him in two weeks’ time,” Lucky stated.
Lucky said the 21-day ultimatum earlier issued the management of NIMC was still in force, although there had been calls for the union to step down the ultimatum.