Large crowds of Nigerians who do not have National Identity Numbers on Thursday gathered at the National Identity Management Commission, as they jettisoned the appointment dates given to them by the Commission.
Workers at the Commission observed that the rush was intensifying by the day because the deadlines issued by the Federal Government for the registration of Subscriber Identification Modules with NINs were fast approaching.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Thursday that the Nigerian Communications Commission was awaiting the advice of the Federal Government as regards the deadlines.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, had also told our correspondent that the earlier announced deadlines were still in force despite the clamour for extension or outright suspension of the registration process.
The information by the commission triggered further rush on Thursday, as crowds of NIN seekers who had no appointment still surfaced at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
The President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC Unit, Asekokhai Lucky, said it had been difficult to manage the crowd, as people no more keep to appointments.
He said, “We actually gave them numbers, telling them to go home and come back on the day of their appointments.
“But you will still see people standing at the gate side holding appointment dates that are not for today but for sometime in the future. When you ask them why, they will argue with you that the deadline by government is close.”
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021.