Laminated Papers As National Identity Cards
On Wednesday, 28 September 2011, the Federal Executive Council approved N30.066 billion for the accelerated implementation of the ‘back-end’ component of the National Identity Management System(NIMS).
The delivery date of the NIMS was December, 2013.
It should be noted that the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) was to receive a sum of N23.074 billion, in the last quarter of 2011, for the procurement of the redesigned multi-application National Identity Card.
Before this time, the National Identity Card Scheme executed by SAGEM was a failure.
The NIMC Act №23 of 2007 mandated the NIMC to establish a reliable, secure and ‘scalable’ identity management system that makes use of advance Bio-metrics technologies to identify every individual in Nigeria in unique ways.
Despite the colossal amount government has expended on the project, most Nigerians, who have registered have only laminated papers to present where necessary.
Although choice brand of papers serve the same purpose, on a condition that negotiated payments are made to the relevant officials.
The insinuation is that the laminated papers are just open cover ups for the failed project.
The expectations of Nigerians were that , upon completion of registration, physical cards would be issued. This is not the case.
At the NIMC registration center at the University College Hospital(UCH)Ibadan, Nigerians are made to pay N100.00 for the registration form, while N500.00 is the amount for the change of name after registration and other unspecified fees for the lamination of the registration slip. There are other hidden fees.
The NIMC officials also instruct people to write their Bank Verification Numbers(BVN) on the form. Nigerians want to know the reason why this is so ?
Of worry, is the rude behavior exhibited by the NIMC officials in a sizable number of centers, which over time has discouraged several Nigerians from having faith in the project.
Indeed, NIMC proudly insists that over the years, it has issued out millions of the National Identification Numbers(NIN), even though it has continuously avoided making categorical statements on the Identity Cards.
Nigerians have the impression that the project is one among several white elephant projects of government.