Residents of Ebonyi State who wanted to register for the National Identity Card had to pool money together in order to power generators at the registration points.
Our correspondent, who visited some of the registration points in the state, gathered that due to lack of electricity in most of the designated enrolment centres, the officials of the National Identity Management Commission, from time to time, had squabbles with residents, who yelled and jeered at them.
The Federal Government, had on September 19, 2018 said the enforcement of the mandatory use of the National Identification Number, by all Nigerians would come into full implementation from January 1, 2019.
A source close to the commission told our correspondent that the situation had got so bad that sometimes nobody got registered if people didn’t contribute money to buy fuel for the generators.
This development, according to him, could scuttle the ongoing exercise, which the Federal Government believed would enable all Nigerians to register for the Identity Card in order to make it a legal wallet in the country.
The source said, “We are having a serious trouble here. And this is not good for us. How can those who come to register for the card, which is part of their civic responsibilities, be the ones to buy fuel to power the generators for the Federal Government?
“This is not only happening here in this centre alone; it’s taking place in other centres. People, including NIMC officials would just come and be loitering around, without working.”
When asked by our correspondent to give the exact figure of the number of people that had been registered for the exercise in the state, he added that the number of Ebonyi residents who had been captured was not up to 500,000 people.
The official added, “There are many factors militating against the exercise here. It’s really bad and with this, I don’t think the government will meet the January deadline.”
But the National Identity Management Commission denied the allegation that it tasked applicants to pay money before they were enrolled.
In a telephone interview, the acting state Coordinator Mr Ajuka Innocent, said there was never a time any applicant was asked to pay money for the commission to power generators at its registration points in the state.
“It’s not to my knowledge that people pay before they are enrolled,” he said.
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