From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Inadequate enrollment systems have been identified as being responsible for the low number of registrations for the National Identification Number (NIN) in Benue State.
An insider who spoke to Daily Sun on the condition of anonymity at the NIMC office in Makurdi disclosed that the equipment required for the NIN registration are not enough.
‘The capacity is too low for the number of people that come in here. In a day we have nothing less than 600 to 700 people coming in with only five enrollment systems. So, practically, they are inadequate for the job.
With only 26 registration centres across the state, the source said ‘by implication, all the 23 Local Governments of the state have registration centres particularly within the state secretariat while there are four centres within Makurdi which we refer to as special enrollment centres.’
Our source said although staff are officially supposed to close by 4 pm daily, they had to work until 7 pm and sometimes 9 pm, including weekends.
‘We also make sure that COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed strictly.’
The source further explained that enrolling one person does not take more than five minutes except times when some technical issues would not allow the immediate generation of data.
The source added they are being slowed down and fears that the registration might take more time than necessary.
While noting that the state office attends to about 500 persons per day while over 3,000 persons are also enrolled from across the state, our source expressed optimism that the state would be covered within the stipulated timeframe.
‘With the speed we are going, with an average of 500 persons in a day within only state office, across the state we enrol over 3,000 people daily.
The source denied allegations of sale of issuance forms to enrollees, saying: ‘At times staff put a stop to issuance of form and when we say we are no longer giving, the desperate people that have got our forms will begin to sell it to people. That is how money comes in.
‘We are working inside and we won’t know that such a transaction is going on outside. So what you hear is actually not coming from us.
‘Some people are trading with what we are doing. The applicants themselves are the ones selling the form they are already given. Then the next day they still come back.’
The source urged the Benue residents to remain patient and calm, assuring that everyone would be captured within the stipulated time frame if everyone remains orderly.
‘They should be patient with us. We are trying our best. Our best may not be good enough but they should be very very patient because misbehaviour slows us down but orderliness makes us take one step after another and we keep going.’
The source also dispelled rumours that the registration would soon close, saying: ‘NIN registration is a continuous process and does not end. NIN registration is a continuous process so long as Nigerians are still giving birth to children.’