Nigeria indeed is a funny country with a smart and intelligent government. This smartness and intelligence is not geared towards development or good governance but on the wrong things. They always have a way of distracting Nigerians the moment they find themselves being caught red-handed for something bad.
What good with the Nigerian Identity Number (NIN) do for this country at this point in time? In a time where poverty, hunger and terrorism has built factories all over the place is when you talk about NIN registration? Last week, 333 school boys were kidnapped by Boko Haram, 112 Chibok girls still missing, Leah Shaubu is still in captivity and so much more and they want us to do a registration that has no effect on the welfare of the citizens. Will you now tell a grieving parent who is thinking of his kidnapped child to go and do NIN registration or people living in fear of being killed for a registration?
There is still the case of the Lekki Toll gate shooting, the case of NNPC spending N116M for biros, no power in the country, kidnappings, killings, poor power supply, Covid-19 pandemic etc and some insensitive minister will just wake up and force people into a registration that will not solve the present situations on ground. During former president Obasanjo’s first term, there was a national identity card that was never used despite the billions of naira spent on that project.
The Telcos have their subscribers’ photos, addresses; banks with the BVN can trace anybody who commits fraud and then the voter cards has citizens details so why not synchronize these instruments to generate a data that will accommodate all citizens instead of forcing the NIN registration?
This directive has some disadvantages that I am sure they did not put into consideration. One of the disadvantages is that no foreigner can own a telephone line in this country anymore. You have to be a Nigerian citizen to obtain a NIN. Another disadvantage of the directive is the time limit of two weeks or lines will be blocked. Those who have registered for the national identity card for months are yet to receive their cards, so how fast will they generate or attend to the teeming populace in two weeks? There is going be a massive rush and then the aim of social distancing is defeated. Just like the national ID card during Obasanjo’s regime, there will be so many mistakes because everything will be done in a hurry.
This NIN registration is not two weeks or 10 weeks as the lower house is suggesting process. It should be a continuous process. What happens to the Nigerians who do not have the NIN and are out of the country on business assignments? Should they start running home to register for NIN?
This NIN registration is adding more stress to the citizens.