36.2m Nigerians Register For National Identification Number
About 36.2 million Nigerians have so far been enrolled for the National Identification Number, the General Manager, Legal, Regulation and Compliance Services, and Chairman, Diaspora Enrolment at the NIMC, Hadiza Dagabana, has said.
The National Identity Management Commission commenced the NIN enrolment in September 2012.
Dagabana, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone from Austria on Sunday, also reacted to issues surrounding the enrolment of Nigerians in foreign countries.
Currently, Nigerians in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India, South Africa, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Liberia, Senegal and Benin Republic are being enrolled for NIN.
But the enrolment of Nigerians outside the country has been slow. For instance, as of mid-August, only 79 people had reportedly been enrolled in the US.
There are indications that the slow pace of the enrolment in the US might not be unconnected with reports that Nigerians in the Diaspora are kicking against the payment of fees for the enrolment.
Although enrolment is free in Nigeria, Nigerians in foreign countries are paying for the exercise.
In the US, each enrollee pays between $40 and $50. Those below 15 years old pay $40 (N12,240 at the official exchange rate), while those from 16 years and above are being charged $50 (N15,300) each.
At a town hall meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo held with members of the Nigerian community in New York in June, the leadership of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Americas, rejected the fee, describing it as unacceptable.
The Chairman of NIDOA’s Board of Trustees, Mr Obed Monago, stated that the association opposed the payment not because they could not afford it, but because the enrolment was free for Nigerians back home.
Dagabana faulted NIDOA’s position on the matter although she was quick to observe that the fee was not responsible for the slow pace of enrolment being experienced in foreign countries.
She said, “I don’t think the payment of fee is an issue – in most of these countries; Nigerians are even paying much more for similar services. The companies that are conducting the enrolment are private businesses; they cannot be expected to do it free of charge.
“I think the issue is that we are just starting the enrolment in the foreign countries. The exercise commenced in the US just about two months ago; so, it is still new.”