Amid a second wave of the pandemic, Nigerians troop to register for NIN

If Nigerians were hoping that the Federal Government will see reason and do what every right-thinking person has been asking of them – scrap the unreasonable directive to block all SIMs not linked to valid National Identification Number (NIN) by December 31, 2020, that hope has died today.

The President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted earlier today in response to a viral tweet showing 100s of Nigerians struggling to register for NIN:

It wouldn’t be the first time the tone-deafness of individuals in the present administration shone through. On listing samples of mis-empathetic displays by Bashir’s principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, you will find an Independence Day address where the price of fuel in neighbouring countries is used to justify a fuel price hike.

Hundreds of Twitter users, some too aghast to respond, others too desensitised to be surprised have nevertheless taken the pains to point out to Bashir the illogic of his assertion.

There is enough documentation to prove the lack of capacity of NIMC to have registered over 200 million Nigerians on its database in the years since it started.

Where the registration centres do exist, an average of 100 persons per day could get registered with ease.  NIMC has just over 900 centres across the country and only started enrollment in September 2010.

The NIMC Act that empowers the body to do the work it does states that it is upon attaining the age of sixteen that one is of age to enrol. Neither of these issues it appears was considered by the government. That is even ignoring the fact that there is an ongoing pandemic that is taking on the form of a looming surge. But, as the response of many Nigerians to his tweet shows, it is not logic that Nigerians expect from their leader – just a crumb of humanity will do.

Maybe that is too much to ask for.

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