A throng of Lagosians stormed the offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in the city on Monday, December 21, 2020 in a bid to register and obtain their National Identity Numbers (NIN).

On Tuesday, December 15, 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that mobile phone subscribers who are yet to link their phone numbers or SIMS to their NIN would have their phone lines blocked or suspended.

Mobile phone subscribers were also given a deadline of December 30, 2020, to obtain their NINs or kiss their phone numbers goodbye.

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Only about 41.5 million Nigerians out of an estimated 198 million active phone subscribers have obtained their NINs at the time of reporting.

The NIMC office in Alausa is currently a rowdy, belligerent, unruly scene of 'mask-less' Lagos residents shouting at the top of their voices and spreading droplets across the place in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic, amid reports of a second wave of the virus.

Physical distancing is also not being observed at these centers.

Some eyewitnesses at the NIMC in Lagos say officials are engaging in sharp practices in order to register phone subscribers.

“Those in Oshodi local government would frustrate you. People go as early as 4am for numbers. If you can’t get the number and want to register, you’ll pay a N5000 bribe. If you can wait, you’ll fill a form for N100, pay 300 for printing and lamination. The situation as of 8.45am today," tweeted @ayegbajeje_

“The form is just an A4 paper with ‘free’ clearly written on it. If you make photocopies elsewhere it won’t be collected from you. Presently there are over 400+ people there defying COVID-19 guideline at the peak of the second wave," he added.

Lawmakers at the federal House of Representatives have appealed that the deadline for obtaining the NIN be extended.