FG SUSPENDS NIMC WORKERS OVER NIN EXTORTION ALLEGATIONS

BY Okechukwu Nnodim

The Federal Government has suspended workers fingered in extortion at enrolment centres of the National Identity Management Commission.

It was gathered that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, ordered the immediate suspension of the staff members allegedly involved in extortion of applicants at the NIMC Bauchi and Kaduna state offices.

The NIMC on Sunday said the directive came on the heels of public outcry that some personnel of the commission, particularly at enrolment centres in Bauchi and Kaduna were capitalising on the rush for National Identification Number by the public to perpetuate fraudulent activities.

Spokesperson of the commission, Kayode Adegoke, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the act was inimical to the policy directive of the Federal Government, which required mobile network subscribers to update their Subscriber Identification Module registration with a valid NIN.

Pantami restated his zero tolerance stance on extortion, bribery and corruption, according to the statement.

He noted that such unethical practices if allowed to fester had the potency of derailing the SIM-NIN integration project.

The minister said enrolment for NIN was free of charge, adding that on no account should anyone pay to obtain an enrolment form or to have their biometrics captured.

“All personnel involved in the enrolment and NIN issuance exercise must carry out their respective duties professionally, fairly and with integrity,” the statement stated.

It added, “We wish to call on the general public to assist us in putting our commitments into action by sending proof of any nefarious activity within and around our enrolment centres.”

It urged the public to provide snapshots, footage and other proofs to help the government address the matter.

Meanwhile, the Association of SIM Registration Agents, Kwara state chapter, has urged the Federal Government to withdraw the suspension order placed on sales, registration and activation of SIM cards.

In a statement issued by the association on Friday in Ilorin, the group said millions of Nigerian youths had been rendered jobless by the recent suspension order.

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