FG Closes NIN Registration Centre in SGF’s Office over COVID-19 Scare

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By Olawale Ajimotokan

The federal government has ordered the immediate closure of the National Identity Numbers (NIN) registration centre located in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The office was shut down on Tuesday, in compliance with a memo demanding its closure, issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, THISDAY checks yesterday revealed.

The memo directed the security officers at the gate to ban non-staff who had habitually set up camp at the OSGF from further assessing the office for the exercise.

The OSGF was one of the several designated NIN registration centres in Abuja.

It was gathered that the NIN registration office was created at the OSGF to enable the biometrics of the public workers to be captured and enrolled by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

But the exercise had been fraught with glitches and abuse resulting in a large and unmanageable number of people always trooping to the OSGF to carry out the registration.

Members of the public arrived the gate for the exercise as early as 5 a.m. and waited several hours for registration officers in apparent violation of COVID-19 protocol on crowd control.

The rowdiness was also extended to the registration hall on the ground floor of OSGF, where those that were to be captured spent the entire day waiting to be enrolled in the NIMC office that was not provided with enough computers.

Some frustrated members of the public accused NIMC officers of colluding with some workers of OSGF.

They said the workers subjected the process to gross abuse by extortion and only attended to cronies and family members.

To prevent the registration exercise from becoming a super spreader of the virus, Mustapha, who incidentally is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 ordered the immediate closure of the NIN registration office.