By Abiola Olawale
Thousands of Nigerians seeking to enrol for the ongoing National Identity Number(NIN) are stranded as the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) embarked on strike across the country.
The ongoing registration has been put on hold because the workers at the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) locked applicants out of the commission offices nationwide.
The notice of the strike was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor. The notice revealed that the members of grade level 12 and below should embark on strike in compliance to the Congress of the association.
In their words: “Consequent upon the just concluded Congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing. All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive.
The staff refused to attend to the applicants because of what they regard as poor welfare packages. The New Diplomat’s checks reveal that the workers are demanding better welfare packages that” will enable them perform their duties in compliance to the Covid-19 rules.”
It would be recalled that Nigerians have been trooping to the offices of NIMC and other enrolment centers after the Federal Government made an acquisition of NIN compulsory by mobile telephone lines users. This has in turn put pressure on the commission as many Nigerians rush to beat the January 19 deadline for those with NIN and February 9 for those who are yet to enroll.
In Abuja, the nation’s capital, the staff of NIMC complained about inadequate work equipment to protect them from Covid-19. They also complained of poor salary structure.
Similarly, in Bayelsa State, Mr Paul Soroh led the angry workers to Yenagoa, the capital of the state to express their griefs. According to him, “The protest that is ongoing Nationwide is also as a result of the fact that they have not been giving us Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), even though we were listed as essential workers during the covid-19 lockdown. As you know, workers on level 13 downwards are not supposed to be at work, but we came out to do this work voluntarily but because the attitude of the government we are withdrawing our voluntary services until something is done about it.”