Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The World Bank has provided protective equipment against COVID-19 worth £ 172 million to the National Identification Management Commission to assist NIMC as it registers national identification numbers across the country.
Large crowds of Nigerians greeted the NIMC offices, especially in Abuja and Lagos, in an attempt to get their NINs, while others stormed the commission’s website, guaranteeing the collapse of the NIMC website, nimc.gov.ng.
The federal government stated on December 15, 2020 that after December 30, all SIMs that are not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies will be blocked.
On Monday, he extended the deadline to December 30, 2020, after broad opposition to the earlier announcement, because he gave a subscription for NIN from three weeks from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It also gave a six-week extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021.
NIMC Director General Aliyu Aziz told our correspondent that the crowd was difficult to control, acknowledging that mass traffic on the commission’s website had recently led to its downfall, but noted that work was underway.
He said the World Bank had to support the work of the commission with protective equipment to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus through mass crowds at NIMC offices.
Aziz said: “As much as possible, we will adhere to safety rules. Fortunately, we had the support of the World Bank because it bought a lot of disinfectants, face masks and everything needed for our work worth more than 172 million pounds.
“Items will be distributed in all of our offices, so we have security packages, but we have to abide by the rules.”
As to whether all commission staff would work taking into account a directive by which the government limited the number of workers allowed to work as a measure against the spread of COVID-19, Aziz said the NIMC would abide by the established rules.
He said, “We provide a basic service, but the truth is that we have to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol.
“We should ensure that we limit the number of workers and ensure that they work in shifts.
“But since there is no complete lock, we will not lock our services completely.”
He further stated that the decline of the NIMC website is being addressed and called on Nigerians to be patient with the commission.
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