By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
Inadequate funding of the activities of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, by rhe Federal Government has been identified as the factor responsible for the delay in producing the National Identity Number (NIN) Master Card.
Kwara State Cordinator of the NIMC, Mallam Habeeb Olumoh, disclosed this known in Ilorin, the state capital.
The paucity of funds from the federal government he said, was the reason the commission laid more emphasis on the slip which could be used for any transaction in the Country.
Olumoh said this while speaking with journalists, adding that the emphasis was no longer on the smart card but has shifted to the NIM slip, which can be used for any transaction in the country.
His words; “The poor funding of the Commission brought about the shift. The Federal Government has not been funding the Commission as expected. It’s a lot of funding that is required to produce this card.
“This is not peculiar to Kwara State alone, it’s a national thing. If people are complaining of cards unavailability, other states of the federation are complaining too. So it’s not peculiar to Kwara state.
“So far enrolment is going on as expected and a lot of people are actually coming in. As at the end of December 2019, we have a record of over 700,000 applicants.
“The JAMB directive too which was later aborted anyway has brought in a lot of applicants and even forced their parents who haven’t registered to do so, which is the reason we have the number.”
The state coordinator disclosed that the Federal Government has given the Commission the go-ahead on the issue of ecosystem, where World Bank and the European Union, EU, would partner with the Commission to create more enrolment centres so that a lot of people can be captured in a very short time.
“Thus the Commission has come up with the idea of ecosystem whereby individuals, private concerns are eligible to come in, get licensed by the Commission to open up enrolment centers so that people can be captured as the centres provided by the Federal Government are not adequate to capture Nigerians.
“The birth rate keeps increasing and that is why it appears we are not making progress.
“The World Bank and EU would be remunerating individuals and entities partnering with the Commission by paying one dollar for every successful NIN they generate; so that is a kind of incentive which will lure a lot of people to the project slated for three to five years,” he concluded.