Many people who wanted to print the enrolment form, which is a major requirement for registering for the National Identity Number were unable to do so and got stranded.
The large crowed that throng the web portal of the National Identity Management Commission for the process of obtaining their National Identity Number led to the crash of the portal on Monday.
The commission reopened its enrolment centres on Tuesday for NIN registration after they were shut the previous day.
Only applicants with completed application forms were allowed into the premises of the commission in Lagos after they had received tally numbers earlier in the day. NIMC officials encouraged those that had not been attended to as of 2pm on Tuesday to return the next day as early as 6am to be captured.
In Abuja, residents of the Federal Capital Territory besieged NIMC’s registration centres in their desperate bid to obtain the NIN. This was despite the extension of deadline for the linkage of SIM cards to NIN.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government had declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
Following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement, the Federal Government on Monday extended the December 30, 2020 deadline and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021. It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021.
Some of those who besieged the centres on Tuesday were not even aware of the extension of the deadline.
A hairdresser, Ekaette Etim said, “I am not aware that they have extended the deadline. My concern is to ensure that my line is not suspended on December 30.”
Some others said they decided to keep vigil at the venue because the extension was just for a few weeks.
While waiting to obtain his NIN at the commission’s head office, Anayo Kennedy said, “Yes I read it that the deadline to link one’s SIM with NIN has been shifted to February, but it is better to do it now that the issue is fresh and well pronounced in the public.”
Officials at the commission confirmed that the website went down due to the huge traffic that greeted it since December 15 after the government made the announcement on the linking of NINs with SIMs.
The Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, confirmed that the agency had witnessed tremendous pressure that it could not withstand.
The NIMC boss said, “The way you see people surge into our compounds in Lagos and Abuja, that is the way people throng to our website too.
Aziz said the agency was working to fix the failed website but did not give a timeframe for the repair to be done.