The ongoing National Identity Number (NIN) registration appears to be running into more troubled waters, as Nigerians who have turned up for the exercise have been left unattended at various registration centres.
This is because workers at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have embarked on strike across the country.
Some of the agency’s offices monitored by Channels Television on Thursday included Lagos, Abuja, Bauchi, and Taraba, among other states.
At the NIMC office located on the premises of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) office in Alausa, Lagos, hundreds of residents were seen as early as 8am.
However, the workers there refused to attend to the applicants, saying they were on strike to demand better welfare packages from the Federal Government.
One of the workers told Channels Television that the recent increase in the number of visitors at their office for registration of NIN had caused a lot of stress for them.
Apart from the demand for allowance, he said the government does not care about their safety as saying they could get infected with COVID-19 as they attend to hundreds of residents daily without protective kits.
In the nation’s capital, Abuja, the staff also complained about inadequate work equipment to protect them from Covid-19 and poor salary structure, among others.
They claimed that some of their members have contracted the disease and were neglected by the management of the agency.
The entrance gate of the NIMC office in Bauchi State is shut at NIN applicants as workers of the agency begin a nationwide strike on January 7, 2021.
The workers were also worried about the continuous breach of the Covid-19 protocols, considering the large crowds that show up for registration daily.
They vowed to continue the industrial actions until the issues raised were addressed by the relevant authorities.
The situation was also the same in Bauchi Stated where the staff of NIMC joined their counterparts in other parts of the country to down tools.
According to them, the refusal to work is in compliance with a directive following notice of strike issued by the NIMC Unit of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The NIN applicants in Bauchi were locked outside the gate of the NIMC office as staff of the agency withdrew their services.
Some of the workers who were seen on the NIMC premises stated that their demands for improved welfare, promotion, and provision of personal protective equipment, among others have been a long drawn issue.
In Taraba, the workers also complained about the poor condition of service, especially regarding their protection against COVID-19 infection.