Why Bayelsa Residents Are Refusing To Get National Identity Card
The office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is located along Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Way, Beside PDP secretariat Ovom, Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.
It was established in 2013 and just about that same year, registration for the National Identity Card began.
Back then, people visited the location with enthusiasm, wanting to get a National Identification Card and the joy that Nigeria was on the course of adopting the social security number system was also motivating them.
That enthusiasm has now turned to discouragement and disappointment.
The same office that had bubbled with people few years ago has now become quiet and scanty.
People have stayed away from it like a place only associated with the dead, and the commission has opted different strategies to force them back, but that is still not working so well.
The reason is not far-fetched.
Majority of the persons that had registered for the identity card in 2013 are yet to received their cards, and others have questioned why they should register for something they are not sure of getting.
Bounce News visited the office and saw how tough it has become to get people to register for their National Identity Card in Bayelsa State despite different strategies that have been adopted to coerce residents to come and register.
It is an important means of identification, but despite this, Bayelsa residents still believe that they do not have need for it.
The head of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in Bayelsa State, Mr Ibiba Bob-Manuel, said that his office had implemented a few strategies to coerce people to register.
"Some people only come to register when they must have encountered some problems either at the bank or elsewhere.
"Recently, NIN is required at the bank before one can open a new account,” he said.
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Additional transactions requiring the mandatory use of NIN include issuance of birth certificates, registration of voters, tax identification, documentation for loans, registration and licensing of corporate bodies, identification and business agreement.
Aside the issuance of the national identity card, the commission also issues a national multi-purpose card which is like a wallet that could be used as ATM and voters card.
The commission highlighted that the card could be very useful when travelling to a West African Country without a visa or documentation unlike ordinary identity card.
Mr Ibiba further stated that the commission was also responsible for the registration of foreigners who are legally residing in Nigeria and does not register illegal occupants.
He further explained that Nigeria was moving towards e-governance – a period NIN would be needed to book flights, register for professional examination and gaining employment.
"The national slip is very important because, it contains the national identity number in a chip and can be swapped in a machine during transactions.
“We go from one community to another evangelising about the importance of enrolling and owning a National Identity Number so that it will not affect them or their children negatively," he said.
One civil servant who has obtained the card, Mrs Sele Parkinson, said she saw the need to own the card when she encountered problems with her bank and advised Bayelsa residents to enrol.
In the state, lawyers need to have NIN to enable them register criminal or civil actions in courts, tribunals and other arbitration processes. Enrollment is free and has no age restrictions.
The only requirement for registering a child is his/her birth certificate and the parents or guardian's NIN number.
The requirement for enrollment include: a birth certificate or age declaration, a valid driver’s license, voters card, valid international passport, vehicles registration certificate and other relevant documents.
The National Identification Number (NIN) is used to verify, authenticate and confirm the identity of an individual in any transaction requiring the presentation of a means of identification or confirmation of an identity in accordance with part II Regulation 7 of the Mandatory Use of National Identification Number, Regulation 2015.
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