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FG Launches New National ID Card with Payment Features

The Federal Government through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has unveiled plans to launch a new national identity card with payment and social service delivery capabilities.

According to a statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications of NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke on Friday, April 5, the development is in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

“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.

“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 encourage increased participation in nation-building,” the statement reads in part.

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

The commission also stated the card will be produced according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards – and is positioned as Nigeria’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.”

It highlighted the key features of the card which 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 and Additional features include travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, etc.

The card will also ‘possess’ Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR) containing the national identification number and Biometric authentication such as fingerprint and pictures, as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip.

Other features of the card are; Offline capability that allows transactions in areas with limited network coverage or zero infrastructure connectivity and Functionality as a debit and prepaid card catering to both banked and unbanked individuals.

NIMC stressed that 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 NIMC offices nationwide.

The commission further said that it remains committed to protecting cardholders’ personal data – and vowed to ensure compliance with international standards on data security protocols as security features that protect the confidentiality and safety of users’ information.

 

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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