Those who registered for the National Identity Card in 2013, five years ago, are just getting that plastic substance. I registered in 2016 and was at the headquarters last week to collect mine, and I was told me that my card was not ready yet.” We are giving out to those who registered in 2013,” she said. I was taken aback. She saw the expression on my face, and maybe she was moved. “When did you register,” she asked. “2016,” I responded.” So, when do you think my card will be ready?” she could not give me a certain date.
If those who registered in 2013 are just collecting their cards, it means I will need to wait for three years to get mine, that is, if it is after five years of registration before one can get his card.
At the onset, and as it is typical with Nigerians, they take time to embrace government projects that are not spinning money there and then. Things like microcredit loans even hardly get patronised. In the case of employment, of course, millions would rush for say 10,000 job vacancies. In the case of the National ID card, as usual, the citizens were less attractive to it, but as time went on they have wholly embraced it. And the crowd now is large. The crowd seems to be overwhelming the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). If not why would it take this much time – five years – before a card can be ready?
As important as this project is, and considering how Nigerians have come to embrace it, I think the management of the NIMC should device a means to see how this card can be produced within one week of registration by a Nigerian.
I was at the headquarters during the month of Ramadan on a Wednesday to collect mine, the crowd I met there was huge, and had to leave and decided to come back after Ramadan. It is really cumbersome and frustrating to those who come to register and collect as well as the NIMC staff who are attending to people. I could not stand it, so I left. On Wednesday, July 18, 2018 when I returned to collect my card, there was no crowd this time around. With that, I was happy, thinking I can just walk in and collect my card. Well, that was not to be. As it is now, I don’t know when I would get this important document. I needed it to do one or two things where it is demanded, since I don’t have it, that is not possible. One can imagine what this delay has caused now. I could have waited, but i do not even know when the card would be ready, so it would mean an endless wait.
But why should it take that long? Granted, it needs security printing to be done, but five years is too long. Even the naira cannot take that long to be printed. The management of the NIMC should look for a way to see how the card can be accessible to Nigerians within seven days of registration.