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FG to launch upgraded national ID card with payment, social features




The Federal Government, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), will launch an upgraded national identity card with payment functionality for all types of social and financial services.

The innovative card developed in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), is to be powered by AfriGO, a National domestic card scheme.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Head of Corporate Communications of NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, on Friday, April 5, 2024.

The National ID card, layered with verifiable National Identity features, is backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which mandates NIMC to enrol and issue a General Multipurpose card (GMPC) to Nigerians and legal residents.

Benefits of the national ID card

NIMC said that this innovation by the government is aimed at addressing the demand for physical identification enabling cardholders prove their identity, access government and private social services.

The national ID card will also facilitate financial inclusion for disenfranchised Nigerians, empower citizens, as well as encourage increased participation in nation- building.

NIMC noted that only registered citizens and legal residents with the National Identification Number (NIN) will be eligible to request the card.

Cardholders’ personal data to be protected

The statement from NIMC partly reads,

  • 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 interventions programs.
  • “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.’’

Other features of the card

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 standard.

Additional features include travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, among others.

The card will also feature Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR) containing the national identification number, biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and pictures, as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip 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 will be part of the features of the card.

NIMC said request 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 of its offices nationwide.

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