Allegations of illicit monetary demands in the current rush to obtain the National Identification Number, NIN by Nigerians have claimed some victims.
An enraged Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami was said to have ordered the immediate suspension of National Identity Management Commission, NIMC staff accused of extorting money from applicants in Kaduna and Bauchi States.
The suspended staff were said to have taken advantage of the high demand for registration to demand for money before enrolling the applicants.
The practice is common in many registration centres across the country.
A spokesperson for the commission, Kayode Adegoke, in a statement said 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.
He noted that such unethical practices if allowed to fester and not nipped in the bud by taking stiffer actions against the culprits had the potency of derailing the SIM-NIN integration project.
The minister reiterated that enrolment for NIN was free of charge, adding that on no occasion 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, “In light of the above, 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.
Nigerians have till the first week of February to update their NIN and SIM registrations.