FG Set To Launch Modified National Identity Card

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The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), has launched an innovative identity solution with payment functionality for all types of social and financial services to be powered by AfriGO, a National domestic card scheme.

In a press statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke said the National ID card, layered with verifiable National Identity features, is backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which mandates the Commission to enrol and issue a General Multipurpose card (GMPC) to Nigerians and legal residents.

The card according to Adegoke will address the demand for physical identification enabling cardholders to prove their identity, access government and private social services, facilitate financial inclusion for disenfranchised Nigerians, empower citizens, as well as encourage increased participation in nation-building.

“Only registered citizens and legal residents with the National Identification Number (NIN) will be eligible to request for the card.

“The card, which will be produced according to ICAO standards, is positioned as the country’s default national identity card. In addition to this functionality, cardholders will also be able to use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by linking same to bank accounts of their choice.The card shall enable eligible persons especially those financially excluded from social and financial services have access to multiple government intervention programs”.

Furthermore, Adegoke, the NIMC head of Corporate Communication noted that “In line with data protection regulation and public interest, NIMC remains committed to protecting cardholders’ personal data and will ensure compliance with international standards on data security protocols as security features that protect the confidentiality and safety of users’ information”, .

Accordingly, he stated that the key features of the card will include Machine-readable Zone (MRZ) in conformation with ICAO for e-passport information, identity card Issue Date and document number in line with ICAO standards.

The card will also have additional features including travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, etc.

Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR) contains the national identification number.

Other features are biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and pictures, as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip, an offline capability that allows transactions in areas with limited network coverage or zero infrastructure connectivity

Functionality as a debit and prepaid card catering to both banked and unbanked individuals, requests for cards by registered citizens and legal residents will be made available online, at any commercial bank, various agencies or agents participating in multiple programs and/or any NIMC offices nationwide, Adegoke stated.

How this will be achieved by the Commission will be determined by how the much the Commission’s Director General pushes for funding the Commission’s core mandates in line with President Bola Tinubu’s reform agenda for the country.

It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu sacked Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, the former director-general and chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and approved the appointment of Bisoye Coker-Odusote to serve as the director-general and CEO of (NIMC) last year

Since she assumed office, key watchers of the Commission who spoke with this Reporter say Coker-Odusote, a former general manager and CEO of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) has the political will to turn NIMC around. Time will tell.


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