So after going through the rigor of registering/applying for the ‘new edition’ tint permit from our ‘beloved’ (pun obviously intended) Nigerian police force online, which includes having to go and register through NIMC (national identity management commission), for a NIN (national identity number), which is a required field in the online form for the new ‘revitalized’ (pun intended), tint permit; I discovered, much to my chagrin, that the process is flawed and wasn’t well thought through:

Firstly, it is difficult to know where the biometrics capturing is being done after the online registration. The NPF website makes a vague reference to police commands but fails to provide a listing of where these commands are. After much googling, I found an address for Lagos state police command as: 1 Oduduwa street Ikeja. When I went to google maps, only Oduduwa road and Oduduwa crescent where listed. I then thought maybe they meant Oduduwa road. After traveling from Lekki to Ikeja and driving the entire stretch of Oduduwa road, nothing looking like a police command was found, so we started asking around and eventually found a police man who directed us to the police command which is not on anything ‘Oduduwa’.

It is tucked near Archbishop Vinning church on Muiz Banire street. After getting there, a policeman at the gate approached us and inquired what we want, to which I replied that we are here for tinting biometrics. He said ‘ha!, it’s not today, we only do it on Mondays, Thursday’s and Friday’s.’ I didn’t know if I should be angry, or sad. I marvel at how we do things in this country. How come there is no information out there that the biometrics is only conducted on the aforementioned 3 days of the week? And the police man added that we have to come very early before or by 7am because some arrive by 5am!! As we drove away from the entrance, I noticed about 3 police men in mufti carrying heavy automatic weapons, and they looked like thugs to me. If any of those 3 should stop me at a check point, I’d immediately conclude they are robbers. Anyway, that’s an ‘aside’.. Back to my story…..

Who in their right senses rolls out a process like this that only uses one centre in a city like Lagos to process a document that is required by millions? How can that work?

And this is after the IGP declared that all existing permits, which we all paid for in amounts ranging from 10-25k, depending on who did it and where it was done, has suddenly become invalid? Who collected all those monies which obviously runs easily into the hundreds of millions?

Something is just not right about this. Why would anyone inflict so much stress and pain on the citizenry for a permit that ought to be easily available and free? I hear that it’s nothing but free. Someone who has done the ‘capturing’ like they call it around here, said he had to part with 5k because the police said the permit is free but they need the money for office maintenance!!

I am looking for someone who has the new permit and didn’t have to pay any money.

Someone needs to call the police to order. You cannot just wake up and invalidate a permit that peeps paid decent money to acquire and then roll out a clumsy, inefficient and stressful process to acquire a ‘free’ one.

I don’t see myself waking up at 5am to go to ikeja for biometrics for a permit which may never come. What’s the guarantee that even if one waits all day till evening, you’d eventually do the biometrics?

Obviously, the deadline of this Friday cannot and will not work. And the IGP needs to be told, if he hadn’t received the feedback yet, that this process is nonsensical.

A colleague noted that a friend of his went to Ikeja Police Command last week from Lekki and was told that the permit has been suspended for now. He was at the Kam Salem House, in Obalende, and the same story was told there. It would seem that the Police organization did not think this through this before the publication and implementation. Also, there wasn’t adequate  preparation in place to implement this. Relevant information needs to be published by police in the media to guide the citizens accordingly and save valuable manhours.

– ‘Tayo Oluyemi, an oil industry professional, writes from Lagos.