CLEARS THE AIR ON #5,000 RENEWAL FEES
On Tuesday 10th, December, 2019, the Lagos State Coordinator of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Olumide Aremu with his team paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of Kosofe Local Government, Hon. Afolabi Sofola, in his office. Kosofe Voice was on ground and had a brief chat with the NIMC Lagos Coordinator.
In this interview with our reporters, Mr. Aremu speaks about touts activities and the controversial #5,000 renewal fees for National ID card.
Question: Could you please tell us your name and your official position?
Answer: My name is Olumide Aremu. I am the Lagos State Coordinator for National Identity Management Commission.
Question: What is the purpose of your visit to the Chairman’s office?
Answer: We are here to say thank you to him for giving us support for the national I D Card scheme. So far he has behaved like a father figure to us. And he has been a strong pillar behind for us. Without his support as chairman we could not do anything. Although we are a federal government parastatal, we still need support of the Local Government. That is why we are here today to show appreciation to him so that we can get more and more of the people in the locality to have access to the National Identity we are talking about.
Question: Have you had complaints from members of the public about the registration process for the National ID Card scheme?
Answer: There is no way we won’t get complaints. Obviously everybody cannot expect smooth operation but we are trying all our best on daily basis to be of assistance, to improve on relationships between the staff and the applicants. We have received complaints from applicants and also from our staff on touting activities. Most of the time we hear ministry officials are extorting money. In the long run when we investigated we found out that the touts are the people behind the extortion going on almost in all the local government areas.
Question: How can this touting be checked?
Answer: Yes that is part of the reason we are here to meet the chairman. There is nothing we can do on our own. The local government knows all of them. They know the local people around. They know the people working in the council. So it is very easy for them to identify the touts around. That is why we keep coming in to have a visit, to have meetings so that we can boost our image and improve the relationship between the Federal and the Local government.
Question: There is this rumour making the rounds that after the expiration of the National I.D card, the card holder would pay #5,000 to renew his/her National ID card. How true is this statement?
Answer: It is not a rumour. But people need to understand what is on the ground. When you enrol in to National Data Base, you are issued first, a ticket showing that you have enrolled for the National I.D card data base. After the ticket is issued, we still issue another one confirming the status that you have successfully registered into the National data base. That is when the issuance of what is called the NIN slip is issued to the applicant; to Nigerian or legal residents in the country. And the NIN slip will carry a number called NIN (National Identification Number). That number is there for life. It is your identity. It can only be rested when the person dies. So that number is for life. Now after the number has been issued to you, you will now be issued another thing called General Multipurpose card (electronic E I card). It has a lot of functions. You can use it for traveling, account standard teller; you can use it for AMV, that is, for payment in Euro, money gram, MasterCard and visa. You can use it the way you use your ATM card, you load money on it. And then you withdraw the money. You can also use it on POS. If you go to the bank today, when they issue an ATM card it expires within 3 years, but as a national ID card scheme coordinator, what we do is we liaise with the banks to extend this time beyond ATM card; because it is a federal government instrument. That is why we are able to get 5 years. Naturally on the card itself it expires in 5 years but it is not 5 years your NIN expires. No. But the financial option on the card. You know I told you we have several uses, so one of the uses which is the EMV, the one involve with payment option on the card expires after 5 years. So to renew the card you pay #5000. If you don’t want to use it for any payment you don’t need to renew the card. Your card is there, you have your number NIN. And your number is embedded in the chip of the card. So that is just the difference between people talking about renewal of ID card. It is not your number that is renewed. Your number stays with you for life.