Privilege corrupts everything in Nigeria, even getting an I.D card


Yesterday, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) put up this post announcing that Nigerian born British boxer Anthony Joshua had recently registered for his national identity number and card. This post was shared partly for publicity and partly for social media engagement, and Anthony Joshua has been a gracious participant, doing something similar for the presidency when he visited President Buhari after he reclaimed his heavy weight titles.


This was naive on their part considering thousands of Nigerians have complained bitterly about the incompetence displayed by the NIMC over the years. There have been several attempts to force Nigerians to register for a National Identity Number. First the National Identity Number was included as a requirement for applying a new international passport or renewing an expired one. This complicated an already difficult process and caused needless hardship to citizens. Then the NIN was included as a pre-requisite for being able to apply for the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) exams; a position that was held stubbornly for months then suddenly eased when it became obvious that it would alienate thousands of students.

So to see Anthony Joshua who identifies in all the places that matter as British be given preferential treatment for a process that many already consider redundant (because we already have BVN’s and register our numbers with telecomm companies) set many Nigerians off. In response, the NIMC had this to say to complaints that citizens hadn’t received their NIN cards years after registering.

The NIN identification slip, unwieldy and fragile is expected to substitute for a sturdy plastic identity card because the government doesn’t want to exert itself in service of its citizens?

A crying shame.

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