NIMC Staff Begin Nationwide Strike Amidst NIN Registration

The staff union at the National Identity Management Commission under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has asked its members to proceed on an indefinite strike beginning today January 7.

In a communiqué signed by Asekohai Lucky, Chairman, ASCSN, NIMC unit,  the association ordered all members on grade level 12 and below to report to respective duty posts and “do nothing”.

It was said that the grouse of the union against the Federal Government bordered on the state of NIMC enrolment centres across the country, especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucky said  “staff of the agency have been infected with COVID-19 and the Federal Government have not taken adequate measures to curtail the spread and ensure the safety essential staff at enrolment centres.”

“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 a task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive,” the communique reads.

In December 2013, the association had given the Federal government a 21-day ultimatum in a similar letter, stating welfare issues such as NIMC offices having no diesel to power generators, stationery and internet facility, workers’ salaries reduced and allowances stopped. It also accused the commission’s management of failing to protect staff interests.

The directive for strike is coming at a time when the commission is enrolling Nigerian mobile subscribers on their data base to enable the government curtail menace of terrorism and other insecurity challenges facing the country.

Nigerian Government through the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) had earlier issued a two-week ultimatum to all mobile phone users to register their lines with their identity by December 30 or risk being cut-off.

This was later extended by three weeks for subscribers with NIN, six weeks extension for subscribers without NIN.

The NCC had said more controls over SIM-card ownership were needed to secure electronic transactions and curb crime as insecurity bites harder in the country.

The Boko Haram insurgency has been said to have been reinforced by the volatile telecom services.

With a population of 200 million, Nigeria has over 198 million active mobile lines, according to data from the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

But Currently, over 100 million Nigerians have yet to do so which has caused huge crowds to gather at the various offices of NIMC in breach of the COVID-19 protocol.

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Abiodun Jamiu

Abiodun is an investigations reporter at HumAngle. His works focus on the intersection of public policy and development, conflict and humanitarian crisis, climate and environment. He was a 2022 Solution Journalism Fellow with Nigeria Health Watch under its Solution Journalism Africa initiative project.

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