In a bid to register and obtain the National Identity Number (NIN), large crowds were seen gathered in the Lagos Offices of the National Identity Management Commission.
In order to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the commission has therefore shut down its offices in the state. This development was affirmed by NIMC Spokesman, Kayode Adegoke on Monday afternoon saying that the decision was taken to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.
The Nigerian Communication Commission had ordered telecommunication companies to within two weeks suspend phone subscribers who have no NIN. In attempt to beat the deadline, hundreds of Lagosians trooped to NIMC offices for their NIN registration but most of the people who gathered at the NIMC office in Alausa and other parts of the state were either not wearing face masks or not observing social distancing, thereby flouting the protocol put in place by the government.
“It was only shut down today in order to adhere to the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocol. Enrolment would commence tomorrow but applicants would be given a tally confirming date of enrolment.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso also said that the NIMC shut down its offices in the state before officials of the Lagos State Safety Commission got to the crowded offices.
“Officials of the Lagos State Safety Commission learnt that crowd gathered there. So, they went there but before they got there, the people themselves had shut the place because they could no longer control the crowd. It was not the Lagos State Government that shut the place; Lagos State Government officials only went there to advise them that it was not good to encourage crowds at such a time like this. They were the ones who shut it down themselves.” Omotoso said,
It would be recalled that several Nigerians had expressed concern over the sudden directive of the Federal Government and had asked that the deadline given for the registration be extended but the government has remained adamant.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had described the order as an abuse of human rights and threatened to sue the Federal Government within seven days if it is not rescinded.