NIMC Moved to Interior Ministry to Speed Up Passport issuance

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been moved to the Ministry of Interior.

It was gathered yesterday that the action by the Federal Government was to fast-track passport issuance and National Identity Number (NIN) to Nigerians.

NIMC’s Head of Corporate Communications Kayode Adegoke, confirmed the development.

“Yes, we have been moved,” he said, revealing also that the commission would launch a mobile app at the weekend to enable Nigerians to “make online requests for changes of dates of birth, or any updates regarding their personal information.”

NIMC is responsible for issuing NIN, while the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), an agency under the Interior Ministry, issues international passport

NIMC was prior to the latest development, supervised by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.

The commission, in conjunction with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), collaborated for the linkage of NINs with the Subscribers’ Identity Modules (SIMs).

The goal was to curb crimes, especially kidnapping, banditry and terrorism.

Over 100 million Nigerians linked their NINs with their SIMs within a period of three years.

A top official of NIS revealed yesterday that the backlog of 200,000 passports with the service was mainly due to delays in linking the NINs to the booklets of passport applicants.

The NIS topshot added that the information at their disposal was that NIMC servers had broken down for about a month now.

Interior Minister, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo had at a parley with NIS authorities on September 7 directed NIS to clear the 200,000 passport backlogs within 14 days.

He confirmed on Tuesday that 55, 000 of the backlogs had been cleared.

It was gathered yesterday that the transfer of NIMC to the Interior Ministry was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive that all impediments to obtaining NINs and passports be removed without delay.

A NIMC source said it was a known fact that the Interior Ministry remained the traditional home of NIMC.

He explained that the problems associated with obtaining NINs would have been addressed long ago with technology if not for bureaucracy “anchored on awards of contracts.”

NIMC’s Acting Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, has warned NIN applicants against engaging third party agents and offering bribes to NIMC officials.

Coker-Odusote said in a statement yesterday that the commission was determined to maintain the security and credibility of the NIN system.

She said: “We are fully committed to upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity in our operations. All complaints should be sent to [email protected]

“We encourage the public to report any unethical practices encountered during the NIN modification process.

“We have a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the NIN modification process and to protect the rights of every Nigerian citizen.

“Engaging third-party services or paying bribes compromises this process and is against the law.”

Source: The Nation