Nigerians on Tuesday berated the National Identity Management Commission over its decision to ask for money for replacement and renewal of the National Identity Card.
While some mocked the policy, calling it a renewal of citizenship, others wondered why the agency would issue such a directive when the majority of Nigerians had yet to get their cards.
The NIMC on Monday via its Twitter handle @nimc_ng stated that Nigerians who lost their ID cards would pay N5,000 to replace them, while those whose cards had expired would pay N3,000 for renewal.
“The requirements include a written application with attached receipt made through remita, bank teller, NIN slip and submit it at our office,” the agency had tweeted.
The issue became one of the most discussed topics on Twitter on Tuesday.
Olajide Obe said, “Wait, so the national ID card will be expiring too! Nah wah ooo. But will we ever collect these cards?
“I’ve enrolled since 2014. A freaking five years ago! Does it take a decade to produce a national ID card?”
Another Twitter user, Chris Olu-Crown, said he registered in 2013 and had yet to receive his as well.
A user, Samuel Mbagwe, said he believed many Nigerians had yet to get their cards because they did not pay bribes.
“November will make it four years since I went through hell to register for this ‘ticket to heaven’ at Alausa NIMC office. It’s taking eternity to produce because bribery isn’t involved. Allow bribes, and you will have it in less than 48 hours,” he tweeted.
“You still haven’t got the plastic card? Get ready to renew it immediately you get it, that’s if you get it,” one Ayokanmi wrote.
A man with the alias, Femi Akaete Husband, described the statement by the NIMC as “highly irresponsible and insensitive; highly disgraceful and incompetent”.
He wondered how hard it could be to obtain the national card when most foreigners always had the NIMC card.
A Twitter user, Wale Adetona, said the idea of paying for the ID card was not good.
He said, “Whoever brought up this idea of renewing the National ID didn’t think it through. Do US citizens renew their Social Security Number?”
Another user said the charges were insensitive to the plight of many Nigerians.
He wrote, “You expect a person of school age, a jobseeker, and a senior citizen that has not received any gratuity to pay N,5000? I am not sorry to say that the majority of our policymakers are crazy. In the first place how can the national ID get expired? Where on earth is the money charged for such?”
But the agency said, “Our main focus is ensuring that all Nigerians are enrolled and issued their NIN. Your NIN is the most important token of your enrolment. You will be issued your cards when funds permit.”