Nigeria’s National Identity Management System has reached a significant milestone: It is ready to start issuing multipurpose national ID cards through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices, or applicants’ respective banks. This news was announced by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on April 14.  

Nigeria’s new National ID Card is a single, convenient, and multipurpose card, that can be used for banking, government programs and services, travel, and more. 

The National Identity Management Commission is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to deliver the payment and financial use cases. 

The card will be powered by the AFRIGO card scheme, an indigenous scheme run by NIBSS. 

A brief history of the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission 

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007. It has the organizational mandate to “establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database in Nigeria, register persons covered by the Act, assign a Unique National Identification Number (NIN) and issue General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC) to those who are citizens of Nigeria as well as others legally residing within the country.” 

We have previously reported on the progress of this initiative, including action taken by the Nigerian government to ramp up the initiative and integration of Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) with the National Identification Number system. 

About the digital ID card itself 

Key features of the national ID card include the following: 

  • Compliance with ICAO standards: The issue date, document number, and machine-readable Zone (MRZ) all meet ICAO standards.
  • Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and photos, serve as the primary medium for identity
    verification through the data on the card chip.
  • Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR) containing the national identification number.

How citizens can obtain their Nigerian National ID Card 

Nigerian citizens can apply for the card, linked with their NIN, through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices, or their respective banks. Banks will issue the cards by following existing protocols for the issuance of Debit/Credit cards. 

Cards and services for individuals without banks and/or in remote areas 

An important feature of the new system is that it provides a way for citizens who do not have bank accounts or who live in remote areas to obtain and utilize the new card and system.  

The ID card can be picked up at designated centers or delivered to applicants for an additional fee. 

The ID card functions as a debit and prepaid card catering to both banked and unbanked individuals. The system has built in offline capability to allow transactions in areas with limited network coverage or zero infrastructure connectivity. 

Sources/References: 

National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria 

The Independent, Nigeria 

 

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