The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Edo State has debunked alleged extortion of intending enrollees by its staff and management.

The Edo State coordinator of NIMC, Mrs Efe Oki, who debunked the allegation while speaking with The Nigerian Observer at the NIMC Edo State headquarters in Benin City, described the allegation as untrue and a baseless rumour.

She said anyone who has evidence of extortion by any personnel of the NIMC in Edo should come forward with such and the matter would be dealt with decisively.

“Anybody that is extorted should come with evidence. Every morning before we start work we announce that NIN registration is free except you are doing change of name and change of date of birth, which has specific amount payable at the bank and not to any official of NIMC,” Oki said.

She said it is those who are desperate and impatient to follow due process that are peddling rumours of extortion.

“Some people because they are desperate and impatient, they will just carry fake rumour that people are collecting money from them. If you have evidence bring it forward and we will bring the person to book, get evidence and we will act on it immediately,” she said.

Oki admonished students, parents and principals to come for their NIN on time and stop waiting for deadline, describing such action as what has led to the surge being witnessed currently at the premises of the commission. She also advised parents to register their children and wards from birth so as to avoid rushing to meet deadlines.

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The Edo NIMC Coordinator said the Federal Government announced since 2020 that NIN is compulsory for the enrollment of West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), but parents and principals wait until the deadline before they get their children and students to register for NIN.

She stated that the commission has 10 machines in the state for capturing persons that are enrolling for NIN and that the machines are working optimally, except in some occasions where there are network issues.

She appealed to the federal, state and local governments to come to their aid by providing the centre with needed infrastructure for the office to function optimally, as persons who come to enrol for the NIN are seated on the floor due to lack of chairs.

Meanwhile, students, some with the help of their parents, are struggling to get their NIN so as to beat the deadline to enrol for the JAMB and WAEC exams as the crowds in Edo NIMC’s office can be compared to that of fans in a football stadium.

Some of the students who spoke with The Nigerian Observer, including Aise Frank, Zino Peters, Abu Barakat, and Confidence Osagie, said they were at the NIMC office to get their NIN so they can register for their JAMB exam, saying it took them at least a week to get enrolled due to the crowd on ground.

They described the process of capturing as fast and efficient, but denied the claim of extortion, saying that nobody collected money from them and that their enrolment for NIN was totally free of charge.