The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) drew the ire of Nigerians after it published photos of British-Nigerian boxer Anthony Joshua registering for the Nigeria national identity card.
“Anthony Joshua enrolls for National Identification Number and issued his NIN slip,” NIMC tweeted late Tuesday.
The commission posted photos of the world heavyweight champion during registration. It also issued Joshua the slip immediately after registration.
The seamless registration and issuance process for Anthony Joshua is not the same experience for millions of Nigerians.
Since the launch in February 2003, the process has been marred with technical, manual and administrative issues.
Regardless of the flawed system, the Nigerian government has made the National Identity Number in the national ID card a requirement for all financial and institutional dealings in the country.
Seventeen years since the project began, millions of Nigerians are yet to get the National ID card.
Nigerians at different times have lamented on the difficulties in the registration process. In many parts of the country, especially Lagos, citizens arrive registration points as early as 4:00 am. They are sometimes asked to leave without completing the registration by NIMC officials to return another day.
“I’ve enrolled for this national ID card since 2014, and I’m yet to be issued a permanent ID card. All I’ve to show for it is the slip,” Olamide Obe said in a tweet. “But Anthony Joshua will most definitely get issued a permanent ID card before me. Nigeria is for the highest bidder.”
Another Nigerian Adelanfe called the NIMC wicked because “Anthony Joshua got his slip same day! But you people will tell me to come back in 2 weeks.”
“Man (Anthony Joshua) even wore boxers to their office. I wore long trouser to their office in Jos, I had to go back home and change to skirt before they attended to me,” Ayeeshabk tweeted.
“So somebody could actually register and get their nin number on the same day? Wow,” Amakarooni said.
However, Olowolayemo urged the government to streamline all citizens information into one database.
“I’d always say this. Data capturing by Nimc is a waste of time. We have data with BVN and Network telecommunications providers. Integrate with them. Simple. You’ll most likely get more data,” Olowolayemo said.