Olorunnimbe Mamora
Mamora

Nigeria’s Minister of state for health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said the federal government may suspend the ongoing national identification number (NIN) enrolment exercise.

Speaking during a programme on Channels Television, on Monday, the minister said the move is to avoid the spread of COVID-19 as a result of large crowds.

He said the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) needs to reorder the whole process so as to ensure that crowds are well-managed and the people protected.

“I don’t feel good looking at the picture where people are gathered in multitude. It’s like a super spreader event which we don’t like. But I’m also aware that the relevant ministry which is the communications and digital economy is looking at this,” Mamora said.

“My understanding is that the whole process may be suspended so as to reorder the whole process 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.”

Crowds thronged the registration centres after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telecommunications companies to block SIM cards not registered with the national identity number (NIN) after 14 days.

NIMC staff had embarked on strike over “poor welfare package, lack of tools and risk of exposure to COVID-19”. The strike was suspended a few days after