FG to launch new National ID with payment, social capabilities

Developed jointly with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, this new card will utilize AfriGO, a national domestic card scheme

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission, is set to introduce an upgraded National Identity card integrated with payment functionalities and social service attributes.

Developed jointly with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, this new card will utilize AfriGO, a national domestic card scheme.

Identity management has long been recognized as a cornerstone of governance and socio-economic development. In Nigeria, the journey towards establishing a robust identity infrastructure has seen various iterations, from traditional paper-based identification systems to the digitization efforts spearheaded by the NIMC.

The existing National Identity Card, introduced by the NIMC, has served as a foundational tool for identification purposes. However, recognizing the evolving needs of a digital society, coupled with the imperative to enhance financial inclusion and streamline access to social services, the government has embarked on a mission to modernize the national ID system.

Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications of NIMC, disclosed this in a statement released on Friday.

Supported by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which mandates the enrollment and issuance of a multipurpose card to Nigerians and legal residents, the national ID card will feature robust national identity components for verification purposes.

This initiative aims to address the need for physical identification, allowing cardholders to authenticate their identity and access both governmental and private social services.

Moreover, the national ID card is poised to advance financial inclusion, empower citizens, and encourage greater involvement in nation-building endeavors.

According to NIMC, only registered citizens and legal residents with the National Identification Number will be eligible to request the card.

“In addition to this functionality, cardholders will also be able to use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by linking them to bank accounts of their choice.

“The card shall enable eligible persons, especially those financially excluded from social and financial services, to have access to multiple government intervention programmes.

“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 include a machine-readable zone in conformation with ICAO for e-passport information, identity card Issue date and document number in line with ICAO standards, travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, etc.

The introduction of the upgraded National ID Card represents a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s journey towards digital transformation. By converging identification, payment, and social service functionalities into a single platform, the government demonstrates its commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of society.

As Nigeria navigates the complexities of a rapidly evolving digital landscape, initiatives like the new National ID Card serve as catalysts for progress, innovation, and inclusive development. By harnessing the power of digital identity, the government lays the foundation for a more efficient, transparent, and inclusive governance system, empowering citizens and driving sustainable growth.

The introduction of the new National ID Card with payment and social features heralds a new era of identity management and service delivery in Nigeria. By integrating advanced functionalities into a single platform, the government not only enhances convenience for citizens but also lays the groundwork for a more inclusive and digitally empowered society.

As the rollout of the new card progresses, it is imperative for stakeholders to collaborate closely, addressing challenges and maximizing the potential of this transformative initiative. With a steadfast commitment to security, privacy, and innovation, Nigeria stands poised to harness the full benefits of digital identity, driving progress and prosperity for all its citizens.

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