of Edo State seeking to get registered for their National ID Number at the various designated centres in Benin, the state capital, as it has become cash and carry affair, some of the people paying as much as N10,000 to agents before they can get their names registered. Our reporter, who visited the centres in Benin City, reports that a majority of the NIMC workers have their various agents who front for them.
These agents collect money from the people and forms are given to them to fill at midnights, while persons who are not ready to pay money or pass through the ‘back door’ stay days waiting in vain without anybody attending to them.
The situation is worst in Oredo, Ikpoba – Okha and Egor local government areas as people left their houses as early as 3am to collect numbers yet they wait all – day long without results except they are ready to ‘play ball.’ Also in Oredo Local Government Area, a lot of people have fallen into wrong hands where their money are collected by agents and hoodlums who pose as council staff to defraud unsuspecting people.
A pregnant woman, who gave her name as Mrs. Gloria Obasuyi, told Saturday Telegraph that she lost her pregnancy in the struggle to gain entrance to the premises to have her name registered. According to her: “This is the fourth time of my coming to this place, the first time I came to register, I met a man who told me that he works at the council; of course, I saw people discussing with him on the same issue, so I was convinced that he is a staff of Oredo and I decided to part with N2, 000.
“I gave him my name and he promised to collect the form for me that I should come back the next day but because of my pregnancy, I couldn’t go back there the next day as I went to the clinic for check -up. But till date, I have not set my eyes on the man. “I cannot leave my house by 3am and come to Oredo because I want to get my National ID card and I have also seen people giving out cash to get through. I don’t want to be a victim the second time, they should consider nursing mothers, pregnant women and persons with disabilities. “I want to appeal to the authorities to make the process a little easier for us. Nigerians are going through tough times as a result of this exercise.”
Corroborating Obasuyi’s account, a 70-year-old woman, Madam Iyeogie Orobosa, said: “I’m here with my daughter to collect form to process my national ID card. But they are telling us to come back tomorrow that they have finished issuing out numbers for the day. “You can see that the owner of this shop offered me chair to sit down so that I will not fall. I have come to do it because my grandson in Europe said that his daughter should take me here to do it. If they do not want to attend to me I will go back home and forget about it.” A taxi driver, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said: “This Federal Government has totally lost focus, just look at what people are going through because they want to collect national ID number. “This is an indication that our rulers have failed us. In fact, we have no government in Nigeria. “How can someone be demanding N8,000 from me to process my national ID card, National ID card is my constitutional right to have. “Are they now telling us that we should pay for it” Look, I graduated from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) seven years ago. I studied Economics but because I couldn’t find any job I had to go into serious farming before I was able to raise money to buy this car that am using as cab. “Our leaders should not make us go back to the streets again, if they have not learnt their lessons from the #End- SARS drama I think they had better do because the way we are going now, they are pushing youths of this country too far. “A friend told me that he paid (N5,000) before he was able to get his National ID number and I told him that it is not possible, but now that I have seen with my two eyes, I think the Edo State governor and the Federal Government have to do something about it.”