Lack of computers for registration of people, racketeering and systematic corruption are part of the reasons why many Oyo state residents are yet to be able to register for the ongoing NIN registration exercise across the state, enrollees told AKOBO METRO.
At exactly 7:20am yesterday when this reporter entered Ibadan North Local Government NIN registration centre, hundreds of enrollees had flooded the registration office waiting for the officials to begin the exercise.
A young man was seen engaging some of the officials in a war of words. He told AKOBO METRO that he got to the premises of the NIN registration centre around 5:00am and that despite getting there very early, he couldn’t write his name on the list provided for enrollees as the list was already full with about 350 names already written down. The frustrated young man accused the officials of given preferential treatment to some people they know at the detriment of other enrollees.
“The officials are not being fair at all. Many of us have been coming here for days without being able to register,” said the man in an angry tone.
We have just one computer serving everyone -NIMC official
A major reason why so many people haven’t been able to register in some registration centres is due to lack of computers to register enrollees. In Ibadan North Local Government NIN registration centre, just one computer is available for use. That is reason why the exercise is slow and the crowd is increasing on a daily basis.
Addressing the tumultuous crowd, an official at the NIN registration centre at the Ibadan North Local Government said out of about seven computers, just only one computer is in good condition for the registration. He noted that the other computers are faulty.
“I want everybody to pay attention. We are faced with the problem of lack of computers in this centre. We have about seven computers, but just one is working. The other six are not working,” the official said.
With just a single computer at the centre, a lot of enrollees may not be able to register in Ibadan North Local Government before the deadline of the registration given by the Federal Government.
Allegations of corruption against officials
There have been allegations of systematic corruption against some NIMC officials and some suspected persons collaborating with them to swindle people in most registration centres across Nigeria.
The story is almost the same at Ibadan North. Some unscrupulous Nigerians are impersonating NIMC officials and demanding for money both for purchase of the NIN enrollment form and for registration.
Register with #1000, Buy your NIN form with #50
This reporter was told by an enrollee, Aderibigbe Segun, that some people parading themselves as NIN officials are demanding for N1000 just to help people put down their names on the list.
“Some people at the entrance of the office are demanding for N1000 to register us on the list,” said Mr Aderibigbe.
He continued, “look at that woman,(pointing to a middle-aged woman) she is selling the NIN enrollment form to people at #50 per one. What she is even selling to people is photocopied forms and she has been selling it everyday to people,”
Displaying the form to AKOBO METRO, he quickly pointed to the top most part of the form where it is boldly written that the form is not for sale. But the form goes for #50 per one at the centre.
When I approached the woman to purchase a form, she told me she has no change because I gave her #500. She was however kind to give me one form for free.
There was nothing to suggest that the woman is an official of NIMC-she has no means of identification but some of the officials in the office are aware that forms are being sold there to enrollees by the woman. In fact, those at the NIN registration centre there at Ibadan North are not giving out forms. Rather, they direct the enrollees to walk down to the entrance of the Local Government where the woman selling the form is advertising the form to enrollees.
Corruption Is everywhere, it can’t stop
An enrollee, Mr Udo attributed the problem of Nigeria to corruption in high and low places. He decried a situation where some people request for money for an exercise that is free. He also blamed some enrollees for lack of integrity in writing down names for their friends and families not present at the centre.
“My brother corruption is everywhere. This registration is supposed to be free but some people are trying to profit from the exercise. Some people have written down the names of their friends and families who are not even here because they are aware that the officials will use the list to assign you the date that you will come for your registration,” he said.
Lack of observation of Covid-19 protocols
Many enrollees at the Ibadan North NIN registration centre openly disregard the Covid-19 protocols. Scores of people are without facemasks and social distancing was also not in view. There was also no provision for hand washing equipments and sanitizers making this centre vulnerable for enrollees to contract Covid-19.
Come for your registration by February -NIN official
After spending few hours trying to organize the crowd, at about 10:30am, the only visible official whose name can not be identified because he refused to entertain questions said, “for those of you that have written down your names today(January 4th, 2021), you will have to come on the 23rd of February to register using the computer. Please come very early. Make sure you are here on or before 7:30am,” the official said.
At the NIN centre in Ibadan North Local Government, more than 170 people joined the list every day. With just one single computer doing the registration for enrollees, many Oyo state residents may not be able to get registered if more computers are not deployed to the Ibadan North Local Government NIN registration centre.