The Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, has given reasons why the commission’s website went down on Monday.

Mr Aziz in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday said the commission was not prepared to have huge traffic on its website.

The website has been offline since the late hours of Monday, this newspaper observed. The website hosted the details of the commission and relevant information on the enrollment process for the National Identity Number (NIN).

Meanwhile, Nigerians have continued to struggle to enrol for the NIN.

“We have not planned for this kind of upsurge, this will also task how much the agency has,” he said.

“Among all the data agencies, we are the least in terms of budget, the least in terms of salary structure and we use experts to manage our system and the private sector comes to take them after a while and pay them better,”

“I can say it got to its elasticity level, so it needs to be expanded. You know when you are the limelight, fraudsters will want to exasperate your efforts.

“Right now, when you go to the gates of the centres you will see fraudsters that will offer help to people. All these are not under our control.

He said the commission doesn’t have enough capacity to handle the number of persons trying to enrol within the period.

“We are aware that our website is down, but it is not our making, but so many people coming (to the website).”

“We have never said we have the capacity to enrol people within a short period of time. This is because of the standard; a centre is just for 50,000 persons, so minimum we need 4,000 centres for 200 million people.

The current number of enrolled persons has however increased to 43,901,010 from the previous 43 million. This means that almost a million people have enrolled for their NIN in the last one week.

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The Nigerian government has extended the deadline for registration from December 30 to January 18.

Despite the extension, the NIN registration centres were crowded on Tuesday.

Mr Aziz said telecommunications operators that have been licensed to enroll the NIN will begin operations in January.

“We are working on it, we have to upgrade it,” he said.

“The centres we have are very small compared to what we need.”

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