Some officials of the National Identity Management Commission have been acuused of collecting bribes ranging from N6, 000 to N10,000 from enrollees who want to get their National Identity Numbers in Edo and Rivers states.
SaharaReporters learnt that the NIMC officials insisted that due to the crowd, anyone who was not ready to pay the amounts would not be attended to.
A victim of the extortion, who shared his experience at the NIMC enrollment centre beside Nigeria Immigration Building, Ramat Park, Ikpoba Hill in Benin City, Edo State, asked the government to investigate his claim and sanction the officials.
He said, “Somebody should bring this to NIMC attention that the NIN registration centre at NIS Building in Ramat Park doesn’t register people except they pay N6, 000. I have been going there for a week now and they made it clear that without the money, nobody can be registered and it has been like that. Is this legal?
“We are being denied our rights here on the altar of greed. People troop in and out of this place hoping to get registered but they always go home disappointed because they don’t have the money. We want the government to come to our rescue.”
Another enrollee corroborated the claim, saying, “Is NIN not free all over the country? Why is Benin City different? I was at the NIS Building centre too and I parted with N6, 000. I paid for what was meant to be free.”
“Here in Port Harcourt (Rivers State), you have to pay N5, 000 to gain entry into NIMC office and another N3, 000 to obtain the NIN. Before you know it, you have already exhausted N10,000. Corruption has eaten deep into Nigerian officials,” an enrolled who identified himself as Lucky lamented.
SaharaReporters had in December 2020 exposed how some NIMC officials in the Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State also collected money to enroll people.
For instance, a victim of the extortion, Mr Kingsley Unegbu, asked the NIMC to investigate the fraudulent acts and bring the corrupt officials demanding bribe before enrolment to justice.
Unegbu, who also wrote a petition to the NIMC authorities on the extortion, noted that he was disappointed that the enrollees would pay for forms marked, “free and not for sale.”
It is not clear whether the NIMC acted on the petition.