The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who disclosed this on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise, urged the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to go back to the drawing board and re-order the enrollment process to avoid large crowds at its centres nationwide.
Mamora spoke on a day the government also announced its decision to review the COVID-19 safety protocols as well as the January 18 resumption date for schools in the light of Nigeria’s grim epidemiological situation in regard to the pandemic.
Mamora, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the government had a duty to ensure Nigerians were protected at all times.
“I don’t feel good, looking at the picture where people are gathered in multitude. It is like a super-spreader event which we don’t like. But I’m also aware that the relevant ministry, which is communications and digital economy, is looking at this.
“My understanding is that the whole process may be suspended to reorder it in terms of management of the crowd because it was never intended that it would become a rowdy process like that.
“We have a duty as government to ensure that people are protected; we also have a duty to ensure people comply within the limit of what is good for the society at large.”
Workers of the NIMC had embarked on strike last Thursday overexposure to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment and poor funding.
The workers, however, called off the industrial action some 48 hours later.
The Federal government through the Nigerian Communications Commission had ordered telecommunications companies to deactivate telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their phones to their National Identity Numbers. It also said all telcos subscribers with NIN had January 19 deadline to link their NIN with their SIM cards, while subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to do so.