he National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) have been tasked to urgently address the massive report of extortion of National Identification Number (NIN) applicants following a sustained outcry of citizens.
Public Affairs Analyst, Majeed Dahiru gave the charge during an anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on RADIO, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Nigerians on two episodes of Public Conscience on Radio have raised alarm over incessant extortion by NIMC officials in the last four weeks and it will be recalled that a recent investigation by the NewsGuru Newspapers indicted NIMC staff and officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) of colluding to rip-off NIN applications at enrollment center located inside the premises of NIS Headquarters.
Dahiru who stated that the extortion of citizens at the NIN enrolment center was not surprising, stressed that considering the insecurity in Nigeria currently – the government was expected to have put in place emergency measures against NIMC officials perpetrating fraud against Nigerians.
He asked those at the helm of affairs at NIMC and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to kill all forms of corruption going on in NIN registration across the country. While underscoring the importance of accurate data in the planning and development of Nigeria, he said that corruption is undermining the process of NIN registration and linkage to SIM cards.
Dahiru commended PRIMORG for bringing such a corruption report that is massively affecting Nigerians to the fore and urged NIMC to take advantage of PRIMORG’s collaboration to curb the extortion menace.
His words: “Extortion of citizens is a huge compromise on our national security. And I had expected an emergency measure to curb this menace, it is a menace, we may not know the full implications today until a little later when the negative impact of this issue begins to manifest in our national security negatively.
“It has national security implications for Nigeria. We are talking about National Identity, sim card registration, obtaining a Nigerian passport. Now if the officials involved are only after money, it means anybody can come into Nigeria through any of our porous borders, play the necessary game, and obtain anything that makes and certifies him as a Nigerian citizen.”
According to Dahiru, corrupt practices like nepotism, sectionalism, and cronyism are some of Nigeria’s biggest albatross in fighting corruption and stress the need for the country to be reconfigured or restructured away from its current situation to become a modern nation of citizens that can compete globally.
He called on citizens to get involved in nation-building, interrogate the actions of the leaders and ensure they are part of the process of recruiting political leaders in 2023.
Earlier on the program, there was a barrage of complaints of extortion among other issues by Nigerians who phoned in from Abuja, the nation’s capital; Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau states. They disclosed their frustration over extortion at NIN enrollment centers they visited and when trying to update other information.
PRIMORG, however, restated its resolve to follow up on the complaints of Nigerians and partner with the management of NIMC to see that extortion of NIN registrants and other issues are addressed.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.