September 19, 2020
News Analysis

Examining NIMC’s Fees for National I.D. Cards

National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, is a statutory Nigerian organization that operates the country’s management National Identity Systems.

Established by the NIMC act no. 23 of 2007, the agency has the mandate to establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database in the country.

Registered persons covered by the act are assigned a unique National Identification Number, NIN, and issued General Multi-Purpose Cards, GMPC, to those who are citizens of Nigeria, as well as others legally residing within the country.

According to the acting Director-General of NIMC, Hadiza Dagabana, since its establishment, only over thirty seven million Nigerians of the estimated two hundred million population are registered despite the awareness on the activities of the organization.

For instance, the number of registered people is less than half of the eighty-four million who registered for the 2019 general election despite the fact that unlike the voters registration, the NIMC registration is not restricted to people of eighteen years and above.

Recently, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, announced that Nigerians seeking to replace their lost National ID cards or renew existing ones are to pay fees.

The NIMC stated that Nigerians who lost their ID cards would pay five thousand naira to replace them, while those whose cards expired would pay three thousand naira for renewal.

The requirements include a written application with attached proof of payment receipt made through Remita, bank teller and NIN slip to be submitted at the commission’s office.

Also, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, had made it mandatory for prospective candidates to collect NIMC’s card, which would place financial burden on parents.

However, Mrs. Dagabana said that the adoption of the National Identification Number, NIN, as a criterion for all examinations in the country will tackle malpractices such as impersonation.

She stressed that registration for NIN has already started at the primary school level of education across the country and should be encouraged to further enhance confidence in the nation’s examination system.

According to her, doing so will help to stop impersonation, adding that registration processes for NIN should become mandatory before enrolment for public examinations.

It is alleged that the commission is not well funded by the government, hence, the need to source funds for the making of the National Identity Cards.

Report says that the payment for renewal of NIMC cards is capable of robbing over one hundred million Nigerians of their right to possess their country’s ID card.

It is stating the obvious that many Nigerians will be denied the access to the NIMC card with the recent development.

Since the core mandate of the commission is to register as many citizens as possible, some stakeholders believe that the motive of its creation will be forfeited as many citizens will be prevented from registering.

In a country where there is no unified central database, having the NIN without the ID card itself might hamper citizens’ eligibility where the National ID card is required.

Even if Nigerians are to renew any other form of identification, the National ID card should never be subject to renewal, especially if failure to renew can hamper citizens in any way.

NIMC’s failure to establish a National Identity Database is appalling and unacceptable. NIMC is not and should not be a revenue generating federal agency, but must provide the National ID card to all citizens free of charge, therefore, these charges should be dropped.

Titilayo Kupoliyi

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