Front End Partners (FEPs), a firm contracted for enrolment of eligible citizens for the National Identity Number (NIN) in the short-term enrolment activities by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has lamented how it is being owed 22 months in violation of contract terms.
The firm which was engaged for short-term enrolment activities that commenced in 2021 said in a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, which is the new supervisory ministry of NIMC, that the firm is groaning under a heavy debt burden arising from bank loans used to procure equipment and other sundry expenses, monies owed supplier of consumables and accumulation of salary arrears, owed to staff and the humongous devaluation of the Naira.
In the letter dated October 12, 2023, titled: “RE: Request For Meeting On Payment Of Outstanding Enrolment Fees To FEPS And Matters Arising In The Commission,” the firm seeks an audience with the minister to better appreciate its difficulties.
Lamenting the non-payment of contract fees despite delivering on project, the firm revealed that it had added over Sixty million NINs to the NIMC database within the period of its engagement. “The National database rose from 42 million to over 102 million NINs.
“The 42 million was achieved in over 15 years whereas it took less than 3 years through FEPs to register over 60 million Nigerians. This was made possible through heavy investments in Equipment and personnel by the FEPs. We have set up enrolment centers across the country and our personnel have toured even the remote villages and settlement to enroll residents. This is reflected in the huge contribution to the National database by our members.”
The firm further stated that devaluation of naira had eroded the gains and the investments, it made, adding that “some of our members are currently going through court processes due to legal actions initiated by their creditors. Assets are being liquidated, accounts are being garnished, due to inability to pay back loans, and some could not survive the humiliating and degrading experiences which led to their untimely death, May their soul rest in perfect peace.
“It is our expectation that you will grant us an audience by meeting some of our representative at your earliest convenience. You should please prevail on the management of NIMC to pay all outstanding of Twenty (22) months at the prevailing exchange rate to enable us offset our debt and losses.
“We are aware that the enrolment fee prescribed at the inception of the project by the World Bank is $1.00 per NIN enrolment. This determined the 350 Naira official rate used in the agreement. We hereby request you, to use your good office to ensure adherence to the terms of agreement which stipulates monthly payment.
“We also suggest that you uphold the extant laws guiding any form of Procurement in our country. Such adherence invariably protects public officers in the future and guarantees that the country gets the best in terms of quality and pricing,” the letter partly read.
The letter was copied to the DG/CEO National Identity Management Commission, Engr. Abisoye Coker-Odusote.