The National Identity Management Commission has warned applicants of the National Identification Numbers against patronising roadside registration centres or individuals requesting money from them for registration.
The Commission, however, advised members of the public to be cautious of individuals offering to speed up their NIN enrolment process for a fee.
The Rivers state Coordinator, National Identity Management Commission, Amonia Oghenekaro, stated this in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday while reacting to claims of extortion by Rivers NIN applicants.
Some applicants in the state had alleged that they were asked to pay the sum of N5,000 for express service, while others said they paid the sum N100 to get the online printout registration form.
Oghenekaro, who absolved staff of the commission from acts of extortion, noted that those who were extorting the public were hoodlums who were taking advantage of some applicant’s impatience.
She said, “There is nothing like express service in NIMC, we don’t sell forms, the public has been told not to buy forms. Those forms are supposed to be printed from our websites and given to them for free.
“Those engaging in acts of collecting money from the public are hoodlums outside our premises, they are doing all sorts of things and extorting the innocent public, they usually hang around to take advantage of some of them who are impatient.
“We have reported the issue to the Elekahia police station and from time to time the police usually come here to arrest those criminals.”
The NIMC state coordinator, however, advised members of the public not to patronise roadside registration centres who ring bells calling on the public to carry out the enrollment with them, while urging the public to visit the office of the commission to get enrolled free of charge.
“Those people that stay under canopy at strategic positions in the city, they are not NIMC staff, NIMC staff don’t stay under canopy to work, we only work in our office.
“Registration is free, but those under canopy may charge exorbitant sums to pre-enrol their customers and we don’t encourage that,” she said.