21st-century scam! PVC, NIN card and other registrations

21st-century scam! PVC, NIN card and other registrations

Four accounts describe the inefficient methods still being used nationwide to achieve important government programmes.

Scenario 1: Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) registration

“Good morning, sir,” said Ola.
“Good morning,” replied the man we met at the front desk on the premises of Oke-Ira Primary School, Ogba, Lagos. “What do you want?” he added.
“I’m here for PVC registration. What’s the procedure?” Ola ventured to ask.
“PVC? They’ve moved. Didn’t you know?” My sister and I looked at each other, then at the man, as though he had just spoken Spanish. “Moved?” we asked ourselves. How could they have moved? Why didn’t anyone tell us?”
The man added, “They are at Ojodu Primary School now.” He stared belligerently at us as though it was public knowledge and we were stupid for not knowing.

“Perfect,” we thought, disgusted at the merry-go-round that the bid to register for the PVC was turning into. This was our second port of call in the course of this particular registration. The first had taken us to the Kosofe LGA office on Ikosi Road, near Ketu, quite early in the morning of that day. There, we were informed that such an exercise was not being carried out.

So, after the slow journey to Oke-Ira from Kosofe LGA, to start our PVC registration, we found out that the registration centre had been moved. Again. Swallowing our displeasure, we left Oke-Ira for Ojodu, thinking that, ‘the earlier the better”. On reaching Ojodu Primary School, we met not less than 120 people on the queue. Some of the people had become tired of queueing and found places to make themselves comfortable. The Lagos State officials who were supposed to be attending to them, of course, were taking their sweet time. After all, they had a lot of it, didn’t they? I thought 120 people on a queue was ridiculous until I realized that two people, yes only two people, were supposed to be attending to them all! It was at that point I realized that midnight was going to meet us in that place should we decide to stay. It was 11:40 am. We later found out that some of the people there had come as early as 7:00 am.

Scenario 2: 2018 FGN scholarship interviews

Dateline: February 2018
Event: Federal Government of Nigeria 2017 Scholarships interviews
Modus Operandi: Interviews to be held in the JAMB zonal offices nationwide.

What transpired?
Candidates were assigned to zonal centres based on their states of origin.
Interview date was first postponed by a few days, then further postponed by a week. The last postponement was a day before the interviews were to start nationwide, so those who were posted to places that would take up to 24-hour journeys had already left their locations and were on the long distance trip before realizing that the interviews had been postponed again. So they stayed in those locations for a whole week before the interview screenings began.

Screening later kicked off two days after the stated screening dates. Interviews did not kick off until another two days later, with the process going on very slowly till very late in the night for another 2 days. Then the interviews commenced.
The final day, interviews were hurriedly packaged throughout the night till early morning when the officials who were posted from different centres realized the government would not further extend their allowances till the following week.
Some candidates spent more than two weeks on the sham that was scholarship interview and achieved nothing.

Long queues are the norm where students are to undergo tests

Scenario 3: National ID card registration
The applicant had filled the form online, thinking to save herself some of the legwork and frequent trips to the agency’s offices.
The first day she presented herself in the office, she was informed that the person who should attend to her had closed the files for the day.
Almost two weeks later, when she returned, she was told she ought to have been in the office since 6 a.m if she wanted to be attended to.
The third and last time she came there, she was informed that day was only for those who came to collect the ready ID card.
Needless to say, this prospect gave up. The simple reason was: how long would she leave her office to go pursuing something that was just simply a time-wasting endeavor?

Superstar treatment for the governor at NIMC

Scenario 4: This is a continuation of scenario 1
After the PVC registration sham experienced at Ojodu Primary School in Lagos, we eventually had the opportunity to register for it in Yola, Adamawa State.
The process took less than two hours, compared to the four hours people had spent queueing in Lagos with no results.
Interestingly, when it was my turn for the fingerprint capture, I realized why the process took the one and a half hours it did. The woman who was typing my name into the database was doing it with one hand, and no, she wasn’t one-handed, she had two hands. What was the other hand doing? Absolutely nothing. She was typing with one hand, an indication that she wasn’t computer literate. Imagine typing I-H-E-C-H-U-K-W-U-M-E-R-E with one hand???

One-handed computer operators

Questions to ask:

  • When will Nigeria start using efficient and time-preserving methods for public service database collections?
  • When will we start actually planning and organizing programmes, instead of the last-minute ‘digba-digba’ we’ve always liked?
  • When will we realize the need for all public servants to be computer literate?
  • Why can’t voting be done online, as it’s done in other countries?

Recommendations:
1. Queueing under a canopy to register for PVCs is a No-No in 2018. Of course, the canopy will only take a few people, while the majority will hang around, looking for somewhere to sit and wait.
2. Since the process involved filling an electronic form, why didn’t INEC let Nigerians register online? Then people are scheduled to present themselves for the biometric capture part at a predetermined date?
3. Registration and scheduling for the FGN scholarships should take into account candidates’ locations, rather than the state of origin. It should be well planned, to foreclose repeated postponements. Proper arrangements should have been made. Mock interviews and rehearsals should be conducted prior to the programme to help detect problem areas.
4. There’s a lot that Nigeria needs to take to the web, especially registrations of all kinds. Electronic form filing and submission is one of the basics of web development. This means getting the required infrastructure to handle the projected traffic, by investing money in strong servers.
5. Better still, let the private sector handle it. Shortlist and approve private companies to register the people and organize them into batches for the capturing and finalization process. Give them a deadline and a budget.

Conclusion:
Some of us had the opportunity to monitor the progress of the United States election on TV! The 2016 US elections were televised! I’m not asking Nigeria to televise our elections (I mean it would be easier for me to fly a Boeing 737 plane), but it is an embarrassment that a country that is supposed to be developing, cannot take something as fundamental as voter registration and national identity card registration to the web.
This is another reason why it would save the country and its citizens a great amount of time, to make it available for Nigerians to register for their PVCs online. We are in the information age; the developed countries are developed because they are taking advantage of the leading technology in the world. For Nigeria to get there, we must do the needful.

with additional reporting.

24 Comments
  • Tobi
    Posted at 07:16h, 11 September Reply

    I’m speechless. Perhaps I’ve already given up on this country ☹☹ Perhaps…

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 14:54h, 12 September Reply

      Don’t give up on us yet o…Everybody has to play their part to take the country where it’s supposed to be

  • Westy Eleniyan
    Posted at 07:23h, 11 September Reply

    Nigeria my country. I won’t call those things scam though. By happenstance, some people were able to register for all this without wahala. Truth is, we can always organize things easily. Data collection is a big problem in Nigeria. Its painfully sad. Nice post

    • Tolulope
      Posted at 08:13h, 11 September Reply

      True sha o

  • Agada Yewande
    Posted at 07:37h, 11 September Reply

    Very nice.. Another problem with the so called pvc is that you can’t vote anywhere other than the state you registered… We are supposed to be able to use the PVC anywhere in the country.

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 14:59h, 12 September Reply

      Liiiiiiiiike. It defeats the whole purpose of a Permanent Voters Card. It’s like being able to use your atm card only in the state you got it

  • Tolulope
    Posted at 07:54h, 11 September Reply

    Well said. Thumbs up.

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 14:59h, 12 September Reply

      Thanks

  • Tolulope
    Posted at 08:11h, 11 September Reply

    Truly, these issues need to be resolved ASAP.

    Thank you for addressing these national problems explicitly and so interestingly.

  • Uche Joseph hope
    Posted at 08:56h, 11 September Reply

    Hmmm…. hopefully this nation will find it’s bearing soon.

    • qpbdabvw
      Posted at 15:24h, 12 September Reply

      Hopefully o. Hopefully

  • Atanda Olufunmi
    Posted at 08:57h, 11 September Reply

    N.I.G.E.R.I.A! When will you wake up from your slumber? Coz i need to to know.
    Well, I won’t give up on you coz inside of you lies new Jerusalem.

  • Jones Ndzi
    Posted at 10:14h, 11 September Reply

    It will be of great advantage if our country can key into this fast growing technology. We won’t grow until we change our mentality…

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 15:01h, 12 September Reply

      Honestly… Because how long are we going to be using paper systems? In this age is AI?

  • Damilare
    Posted at 11:53h, 11 September Reply

    Nice post

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 15:01h, 12 September Reply

      Thanks

  • Mathias Ajaba
    Posted at 12:49h, 11 September Reply

    Nice

  • Yemi
    Posted at 14:24h, 11 September Reply

    nice post.. I do just hope you know these people are not unaware of these things as well.. It just they do what suits their purpose..

    • Olaoluwa Nwobodo
      Posted at 15:03h, 12 September Reply

      We know… But as it sits their purpose and it doesn’t suit ours nko? That’s the main issue o

  • Umar
    Posted at 15:42h, 11 September Reply

    Naija o

  • E. Pittason
    Posted at 18:12h, 11 September Reply

    For you to have a long life just cash out and leave this country… Nothing works here smh

  • Adewole Adebowale
    Posted at 19:28h, 11 September Reply

    Hmmmmmm
    Is just that the country want to fail to move forward
    We are neither progressing nor stagnant

  • Egbekunle Philip
    Posted at 10:09h, 12 September Reply

    I fully support all said here and the complains as well are true ‘cos am affected by same issue too which is why till date I don’t have pvc and the rest.

  • Lhanray
    Posted at 18:46h, 12 September Reply

    Nigeria my country

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