Nigerians have termed the recently announced charge for verification of the National Identity Number (NIN) by the National Identity Management Commission as one of the unnecessary ways of exploiting Nigerian, even in a failing economy.
According to a recent announcement from NIMC, Nigerians applying for passports will henceforth be charged N1000 in the country for the verification of their National Identification Number.
The announcement, which was made on Monday, February 13, by the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, noted that the fee is to improve the quality of service, accuracy, and speed of passport services through timely verification of NIN.
However, some Nigerians who spoke with eBusinessLife, noted that there was no need to charge Nigerians who already have their NIN for verification. They questioned the rationale behind paying NIMC to ascertain that the NIN they submitted belong to them.
According to a respondent who chose anonymity, “what business does NIMC have with individual verification of information submitted to the passport office, when the office can just as easily verify them just as banks do?”
Some of the respondents lamented the trend which is fast spreading among government agencies and parastatals, where most of them try to link their services to all sectors of the economy in a bid to generate funds, while indirectly increasing the burden on Nigerians who access the services in those sectors. They insist that the new fee burden by NIMC is very unnecessary, as it does not constitute service to Nigerians seeking pasports.
In the new framework agreed upon with the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerians applying for passports in Nigeria will pay N1000 for NIN verification in Nigeria, $5 in other African countries, and $15 in other countries.
The NIMC spokesperson had noted: “This new arrangement is in furtherance of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s directive to streamline passport application, renewal, and issuance processes.
“Consequently, a NIN Verification fee would be charged for each Nigerian passport application for this service.”
“NIMC and NIS have agreed on a revised applicant journey that will significantly improve the speed of passport issuance /re-issuance and reduce the traffic visiting the NIS office(s). The NIN service, fees, and the new NIS process will go live on 1st April.
“The delay in the processing of passport applications could be as a result of the integration of data between NIS and the NIMC, which also, in turn, integrate with the BVN data of applicants.”
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