The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said the ongoing revalidation of Front End Partners (FEPs) has not prevented enrollment for the National Identification Number NIN across the country.
The Commission claimed that the reality on the ground is contrary to the alleged syndicated smear campaigns in the media space.
The commission noted in a statement issued in Abuja, that even though NIN enrollment at all FEP centres has been temporarily suspended, pending the conclusion of the revalidation exercise, activities are ongoing at its local government and state offices.
NIMC described reports that suggested that the National ID card project is being threatened by outstanding debt to FEPs as sponsored attacks designed to tarnish the image of its Acting Director General/CEO, Abisoye Coker-Odusote.
A statement signed by Ayodele Babalola, Special Adviser on Media to NIMC Acting Director General reads: “We find it strange that three clearly distinct newspapers ran what looked like a sponsored hatchet job against NIMC and the Acting Director General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote using almost exactly the same words and sentences.
“They also all made references to some unnamed insiders as well as a phone call to the Special Adviser in media to the DG when there was only one interaction with a single reporter on the matter.
“These are tell-tale signs of a mischievous and calculated attempt to cast NIMC in bad light with innuendoes and outright lies.
“As much as it is true that there is an ongoing revalidation of FEPs, we make bold to say that the process was necessary to ascertain the level of indebtedness inherited from the past management and to verify it before payment.
“So in essence, it is actually the first step towards clearing the backlog of payments due to the FEPs.
“As at when the Acting DG assumed office in August this year, NIMC was owing the FEPs for 2022 and the first 8 months of 2023 so how could someone who was appointed a few months ago be blamed for the inability to pay outstanding debts?
“Records at our disposal show that the last payment, which was for 2021, was made in March 2022-15 months before Engineer Coker-Odusote assumed office.
“So it is pure blackmail to claim that a revalidation exercise which began a few weeks ago in October had been creating problems for the National ID project.
“For the avoidance of doubt, NIN enrollment, data modifications, and other NIMC-offered services are ongoing at all our centres in local government and state offices nationwide while we are working on a contactless solution for diasporans.
“A list of all the LGAs and state office centres and their locations is available on the NIMC website.”