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Nigeria to introduce multipurpose National ID Card for payment, social services



Nigeria is set to launch a revamped National Identity Card packed with new features, according to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

This new card, developed in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), goes beyond simple identification.

This was revealed in a memo made public via a post on the NIMC’s X page, on Saturday.

It reads in part, “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.

“This card will address the demand for physical identification enabling cardholders 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 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.

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“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”, the memo read.

Boosting Financial Inclusion:

The card will function as a debit or prepaid card, allowing users to link it to their preferred bank account for cashless transactions. This move aims to particularly benefit those who have previously lacked access to traditional financial services.

Beyond Payments:

The card’s functionality extends beyond payments. It will reportedly integrate features related to various social services, potentially streamlining access to government programs. The exact details of these social service features haven’t been unveiled yet.

Accessibility and Convenience:

The NIMC emphasizes a commitment to user convenience. Citizens and legal residents can reportedly apply for the card online, through participating commercial banks, or various government agencies nationwide. The card will even reportedly function offline in areas with limited network coverage, ensuring wider usability.

This new National Identity Card represents a significant shift, potentially offering Nigerians a more integrated and accessible approach to identification, finance, and social services.

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