- Staff alleged quagmire perpetrated by the DG in the Commission
- Onyemenam spends up to N20 billion in the last five years without producing any single National ID card
- Holds Staff promotion for years
- Issued Staff ID card just few months ago
Reports reaching 247ureports.com indicates that the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr.Chris Onyemenam is currently hold hostage by aggrieved staff. According to information available there have been squabbles between the NIMC Staff and the DG over his intention to sack about 4000 workers. Meanwhile the aggrieved staff have agreed to receive their sack letters, but are now rejecting what they call peanuts that they DG said that will be use to pay them off.
One of the aggrieved staff who pleaded anonymity declares that; “yes we have agreed to leave and accept our fate, but we cannot accept this peanut as pay off, after we have put up to 10 years in a government organisation, how can he pay us off with just N300, 000 after spending 10 years of our life in the said commission.
He claims we don’t know they job and we can’t do the work, but he forget that we are the one that did the first National Identity Card that is still in operation, since he came in as DG, Onyemenam had not produce a card be it, plastic or laminated one as National Identity Card.”
Meanwhile, the sack of the State staff of the Commission, has commenced as already in Abia the DG has sacked over 70 people, while Bauchi, Imo, Kano staff are expecting their sack letters today which may reach up to 100 the number of people to be sacked.
According to the report, the aggrieved workers who are numbered up to 100 divided themselves into two, as the said demonstration started since morning. The entire offices of the organisation was locked thereby preventing any movement to and fro, as it was also gathered that they locked up also the main gate leading to the Commission, while the gate also leading to the office of the DG was also locked preventing the Delta born DG from leaving office.
According to a close source, immediately after the release of the N30.066 billion for the implementation of the new unified National Identity Management System (NIMS), the Director General of the Commission announced that he is going to sack about 4000 workers. The source disclosed that all this is in an effort to bring his people into the organisation.
247ureports learnt that since coming into office as the DG of the Organisation in 2007, Mr. Chris Onyemenam has done any tangible thing.
It will be recalled that in the rummage around for solution to the problem, the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, ensured that the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 was passed by the fifth National Assembly. The President assented to the Act on May 25, 2007, some few days to the end of his tenure. Among other things, the Act empowers the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to take over the assets and liabilities of the defunct Department of Civic National Registration (DNCR), harmonize all the citizen’s biometric databases across the federation. Empowered by this Act and the report of the Presidential Committee on the Harmonization of Citizen Biometric Databases, the NIMC broadly divided the project into two, namely: the front-end processing and back-end processing. The commission also opted to leverage the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model for the front-end processing while the back-end processing was to be funded by the federal government.
Moreover, two separate international tenders were floated for the two segments of the project. After the selection exercise, two front-end partners and one back-end partner emerged. It took NIMC almost three years to execute contractual agreement with the front-end partners and since the agreement was signed over a year and a half ago, it seems neither of the two front-end partners has been able to fulfill its contractual obligations. It is disturbing that as simple as it may sound, neither of the front-end partners has been able to develop a reliable enrollment application.
Unlike the situation with front-end processing, workers of the commission said the back-end partner has delivered on the assigned job to the admiration of every stakeholder that witnessed the demonstration of the project. As a result of that, NIMC felt that it would be helpful for the back-end partner to bail it out of the logjam. As a matter of fact, the vendor was contracted by NIMC and they were negotiating the details of the contractual agreement before the announcement of the N30.066bn for the Unified National Identity Management System by the executive council of the federation.
However, everybody was at loss as to how the NIMC arrived at that figure and what it will use the money for. However, many are of the opinion and are asking if the PPP Model is dead? Or will the government use the taxpayers’ money to finance a project for the private sector to reap the dividends? NIMC should be more forthcoming in what the money would be used for.
However, Nigerians are indeed asking for what is conscientious for the vulgar clumsiness at the NIMC. Are the managers there capable of delivering on the provisions of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007? Another pertinent question that should be asked is whether NIMC is being effectively supervised or not.
This important and paramount as this also becomes imperative because the commission has been shifting the date of launch of the all-important programme for almost two years now. Again, it should be noted that there is no year, in the last four years that the commission spends less than five billion naira on its running cost so the question is this what has they been doing as a commission, what has the Director General done to account for taking off of this project.
Meanwhile, a close source to the House Committee on Interiors which oversight over NIMC initially had put a stop order on the disbursement of fund to NIMC pending when its joint committee concludes investigation on happenings in the commission since 2001. However, after kickbacks and bribes running into millions, according to a top member of the Committee, the House concurs and approves the project for the DG.
According to a close source in the office the DG: “However it is obvious that if the application of the national identity management system is properly understood, everybody would like to see to the successful implementation of the project. In an environment like ours that lack proper street addressing system, and very poor record keeping, the system would then be the only reliable point of contact between the state and the citizen. There have been various cases of falsification of ages, particularly in the Civil Service. There are issues of ghost workers in both the state and federal civil service. The federal government reported saving billions of naira on salaries and wages when it introduced the biometric-based Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in some ministries. Due to lack of central biometric database, the government spends, annually, hundreds of millions of naira on the verification of its pensioners, also consumer credit scheme is yet to properly pick up in Nigeria largely due to lack of proper means of identification. The Credit Bureau companies are struggling to properly profile borrowers across the 24 banks in Nigeria. Interestingly, there is no unified means of identification across the banks. That is, each bank keeps separate database of its customers.”
“Moreover the question remains that organization is not even doing enough for instance there have been widespread public ignorance of the planned project. Not many Nigerians are aware of the existence of the NIMC, let alone the arrangements being made to issue them with fresh national ID cards and the modalities of the registration exercise. Massive public awareness campaigns need to be undertaken to create the necessary enlightenment especially in the rural and remote parts of Nigeria. Such information has to be translated into the various languages for clear understanding lest apathy grows towards it,” the source said.
Moreover according to an official of the commission, “Another shortcoming is the commission’s over-emphasis on the smartcards which is like putting the cart before the horse. It suggests that NIMC does not fully appreciate the enormity of the task of capturing the data of over 150 million Nigerians and the peculiar challenges of employing the electronic system in the Nigerian environment. The Commission must focus on its primary assignment and draw from the experience of the last voters’ registration exercise which was nearly marred by epileptic power supply, battery failure and inadequate manpower training,” the source said.
Meanwhile in the Commission indicates that there has been a lot of frauds being perpetrated by the DG and his cohorts, as gathered that about four of the Directors in the organisation are from his state Delta, he runs every activities with his cohorts with one man popularly called Major at the helm of affairs of the Security of the Organisation where he runs a Private Guard Security outfit for the DG, and the same Security outfits are being used to Guard the organisation.
Due to his evil and fraud, a close disclosed to 247ureports that the DG is now being guard by the office of the State Security Services, this was made possible through the effort of the same man known as Major, initially Major had sought for a police from the office of the former IG, but the IG declined, then the same major went to SSS since he has people in the office of the SSS and got an officer of the SSS to guard him.
Also he has been hobnobbing with the current SGF Pius Anyim and sources points that he is being seen at the SGF office in a daily basis in order to bribe and buy his way, especially since the announcement of the merger of some parastatals by the Orasanya Committee.
Just recently the DG, was accused of using about N3million to cut the trees in the organisation, an members of the staff, decried and called it scandal of the highest order, other issues he is being accused of are withholding of the staff promotion in the last 5-6 years. Moreover, his evil the staffs are saying due to his evil he has collapsed in the office and was rushed to hospital twice since this year. It will be recalled that the staff of the organisation just received their office ID card, just few months ago five years after the organisation was made a Commission.
Since last year, when the money was released, Nigerians are still anxiously awaiting the commencement of the project which was first slated for this month but has now been shifted to next September; Nigerians are not yet receiving any form of education or enlightenment on the unified national ID card management system.
Meanwhile, as the crisis is on at the office now, effort by journalist to have audience with him proved abortive as he refused to speak to Journalist, but rather sent them away.