Efforts by Nigerians to complete National Identity Number (NIN) registration and link with Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card before deadline date set by Federal Government has suffered a major setback after officials of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) begin an indefinite strike over poor welfare packages.
At the NIMC offices in Lagos, Abuja, and others, many applicants were turned back by Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) deployed to the registration locations to enforce COVID-19 compliance.
On Thursday at the NIMC office in Alausa Secretariat, Lagos, hundreds of residents were seen as early as 8 am waiting to either be registered or retrieve their NIN number after completing the stipulated process outlined by the commission.
The workers, meanwhile, refused to attend to the applicants, saying they were on strike to demand better welfare packages from the Federal Government.
According to the workers, they vowed to continue the industrial actions until the issues raised were addressed by the relevant authorities.
They added that their salaries were been deducted annually without any justification for the action by the apex government and that the deadline set for the linkage of NIN and SIMs coupled with the outbreak of Coronavirus has continued to put them under threat.
One of the striking workers stated that the recent increase in the number of visitors at their office for NIN registration had caused a lot of stress on them and made some of his colleagues to contract the virus.
According to the workers, the government does not care about their safety as saying they could get infected with COVID-19 as they attend to hundreds of residents daily without protective kits.
The workers were also worried about the continuous breach of the Covid-19 protocols, considering the large crowds that show up for registration daily.
Reacting over the workers’ action, NIMC, in a statement made available to newsmen, assured the public that the issues raised by the workers were been resolved and that the exercise would continue shortly.
“The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) wishes to assure members of the general public that glitches experienced in the enrollment process are being resolved and normal enrollment would resume shortly.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused and wish to assure you of our continued excellent service. Thank you”, the statement added.