FG unveils plans to launch new national ID card with payment, social service delivery capabilities

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The Federal Government, through the National Identity Management Commission in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, 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, according to a statement issued by Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications of NIMC, is layered with verifiable national identity features, and backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which mandates the commission to enroll and issue a General Multipurpose Card to Nigerians and legal residents.

According to Adegoke, 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. The card shall enable eligible persons, especially those financially excluded from social and financial services have access to multiple government interventions 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,” he said.

The 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, etc.

“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,” the statement added.

Adegoke added 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 programmes and/or any NIMC offices nationwide.