✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Open letter to Prof Ali Pantami on 7 months payment backlog

It is with utmost humility and a deep sense of duty that I write you this letter on behalf of all the agents of the…

It is with utmost humility and a deep sense of duty that I write you this letter on behalf of all the agents of the licensed private partners in the Digital Identity Ecosystem Project to convey to you our collective grievances which have to do with our seven months outstanding payment.

We the agents are the ones who use our resources to purchase all the requisite enrolment gadgets as specified by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). We also squarely shoulder all the recurrent financial burdens incurred in the course of enrolment.

Issues in the recent U.S strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa

‘Tompolo’s multi-billion naira contract’: Matters arising

No communication minister in the history of Nigeria would match your achievement. The past two years have seen an exponential increase in the rate of enrollment of Nigerians in the NIM system. This record enrollment is of course due to the Ecosystem project which saw the involvement of licensed private partners in the conduct of enrollment activities. This has helped in no little way in providing jobs to thousands of Nigerians.

It has been six months now since the last payment and the federal government is owing us seven months’ payment (January to July) with no payment date in sight. We have used every channel available to us to communicate our concern to our principals (The licensed companies we partner with) but our complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

Sir, it cost roughly N1.2 million to purchase the two license and enrollment kits. Some had to secure a loan from banks, friends or relatives. Most of us are already in a hide-and-seek play with our creditors as our loan repayment period is long overdue. Many of us have no option but to suspend enrollment for the time being because of the huge daily expenditures we incur during enrollment. We have to buy N1000 petrol, pay a daily allowance of N2000 to two staff per enrollment kit and pay for the printing bill at N30 per slip. There is also a cost due to maintenance that we have to battle with now and then. Sir a conservative estimate will respectively put our daily and monthly expenditures at N4,700 and N141,000. We are in dire need of funds as most of us are small business owners with families and children who look up to us for their daily needs. 

If the federal government cannot afford to pay us monthly, then I suggest that NIMC serve as our guarantor so we can get a monthly loan from our respective banks before payment. NIMC should facilitate the loan such that we are entitled to a loan for every successful and valid enrollment we carry out. This measure alone will put the issue of funding to rest.

On behalf of all the Front-End Partners and their agents, I appeal to you to please prevail on all the bodies that are concerned with paying us to please settle our seven months’ outstanding payment

Thank you.

Jamilu Musa writes via jamilumusa501@gmail.com