Workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have commenced an indefinite strike action, as several thousands of Nigerians struggle to register for their national identity numbers (NIN) across NIMC offices nationwide.
NIMC staff members embarked on the strike after being given the go-ahead following a statement signed by Lucky Michael, President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), NIMC branch and Secretary, Odia Victor.
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.ASCSN NIMC branch
“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 statement read.
The commencement of the strike action was the result of a meeting by the association to discuss issues regarding the exposure of workers to COVID-19 and salary payment structure, among other matters.
While reports suggest that NIMC workers are advocating for an increased salary package plus allowances due to the added responsibility of registering several Nigerians for the NIN, it could also be that the commission’s staff members are trying to buy time off as thousands of Nigerians continue to troop out to complete their NIN registrations.
Added to this, the commission has also cited the lack of appropriate COVID-19 measures in place at their offices, a very genuine concern considering the rising Covid-19 infection rate, deaths, new strain and absence of vaccines.
Recall that the federal government had in December extended the deadline for Nigerians to link NIN to SIM cards to February 9 after several people berated the earlier December 30 deadline as unrealistic and insensitive.
However, it is now a huge possibility that this deadline is further shifted forward, as several Nigerians would not be able to access NIN registration services at NIMC centres for the entire duration of the infinite strike.
There has been massive pressure on NIMC since the NCC order for telcos to block SIMs without NINs, as many Nigerians have continued to storm the commission’s offices across the country to register for NIN and avoid being disconnected from mobile services.
How exactly this will play out is still uncertain, as the federal government has not yet responded to the identity commission’s strike action.
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