Open letter to Professor Ali Pantami on the 7 month payment arrears

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

We agents are the ones who use our resources to purchase all required enrollment gadgets as specified by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). We also assume outright all recurring financial charges incurred during registration.

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

It has now been six months since the last payment and the federal government owes us seven months of 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 approved companies we work with), but our complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

Sir, the purchase of the two license and registration kits cost around 1.2 million naira. Some had to get a loan from banks, friends or relatives. Most of us are already in a game of hide and seek with our creditors because our loan repayment period is long overdue. Many of us have no choice but to pause registration for the time being due to the huge daily expenses we incur while registering. We have to buy N1000 petrol, pay a daily allowance of N2000 to two staff per registration kit and pay the printing bill at N30 per slip. There is also a cost due to maintenance that we have to struggle with from time to time. Sir, a conservative estimate will place our daily and monthly expenses at N4,700 and N141,000 respectively. 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 Feds cannot afford to pay us monthly, I suggest that NIMC act as our guarantor so that we can obtain a monthly loan from our respective banks prior to payment. NIMC should facilitate the loan so that we are entitled to a loan for each successful and valid registration we make. This measure alone will solve the funding issue.

On behalf of all Front-End Partners and their agents, I kindly request that you prevail with all bodies concerned with our remuneration to please settle our seven months of unpaid payments.


Jamilu Musa writes via [email protected]

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