The ongoing registration exercise for national identity card by the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) has no doubt become a nightmare to millions of Nigerians who are yet to register and obtain the card.
The altimatum by the Nigerian government that those who did not register before the 31st of December 2020 and other subsequent dates issued as deadline for obtaining the card lest their mobile phones would be disconnected created a new tension in the already tensed Nigerian economic and political atmosphere.
The ultimatum has indeed compounded the registration process whereby crowds of Nigerians besieged the offices of the NIMC across the nation.
With the look of things and the chaotic situation of the process,It does not seem as the authorities made adequate preparation for the exercise.
The stampede and slow process encouraged bribery and other sharp practices.
People left their homes as early as 3am to queue for attention only to go home at the end of the day without getting attention.
The situation is made worse by the second wave of spread of Coronavirus that is more deadlier than the first.
Initiating policies that would require the gathering of crowd at this point in time makes the idea of social distancing impossible and of course encouraging fast spread of the disease.
It is necessary to point out here that in the modern technological world which we belong,the ICT has made things very easy especially where issues of such magnitude occur.
For instance, many students registering for admissions no longer go to the various schools physically but do so through software applications at various computer centres.
Why is it difficult for the NIMC to develop such software instead of piling crowds of people together to scramble and fight for mere registration of identity.
No amount of excuse will absolve the NIMC from incompetence and lack of initiative.
Why would the Nigerian nation do the BVN identification, the election PVC registration and many other multiple registrations without getting enough of what is needed.
We would not be surprised that this is used and dumped as usual.
The exercise has exposed the lack of decency,decorum and Corruption in our public service for want of initiative and selflessness.
We call on the federal government to suspend the registration exercise for now and direct the NIMC to develop software to make it easy for Nigerians to register without let or hindrance.
All those piling up at the various registration centres for hours on end are still Nigerians and there is no emergency yet to begin to rush to identify who is or not a Nigerian among them.
Granted that the exercise is for generation of data for security issues and other economic policies, it cannot not be achieved in one fell swoop.It should be gradual and devoid of stress.
The aged and vulnerable should be taken into consideration. The sick and disabled,those in the rural areas,farmers in the hinterlands and many others who have not come to terms with the situation need sensitization and cannot be stampeded otherwise the entire exercise would be counter productive.
By the way,what does the agency intend to achieve if a large number of Nigerians have their mobile lines cut off.
That of course is a retrogressive measure and a bad one indeed.
We cannot continue to cut our noses to spite our faces.

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