FG Plans Three National ID Cards For 104m Nigerians June


The Federal Government is to launch three new national identity cards in May this year and has a target of providing them for about 104 million citizens across the country.

The three new national identity cards planned by the National Identity Management Commission include a bank-enabled National ID card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

The Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the Director-General of NIMC, Ayodele Babalola, who disclosed these in an interview on Sunday, said Nigerians would start getting the three national ID cards within one or two months of the launch.

He, however, said the launch date (May), was subject to the approval of the Presidency.

Babalola stated, “We expect the bank-enabled National ID to meet the needs of the middle and upper segments who typically use banks within the next one or two months after launch. Also, activation of the National Safety Net Card to meet the urgent needs for authentication and a secure platform for government services such as palliatives within the next one or two months. The focus will be on the 25 million vulnerable Nigerians funded by the current government intervention programmes.”

“Digital/virtual versions of all cards will be available for individuals who prefer digital formats, albeit with limited functionalities. Additionally, ECOWAS cards will be issued on an as-needed basis in collaboration with the Nigerian Immigration Service,” he added.

On Friday, the Identity Commission unveiled plans to launch a multipurpose national identity card. It explained that the identity solution was equipped with payment capability for all types of social and financial services.

According to a statement by NIMC on Friday, this initiative represents a collaborative effort between NIMC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System. It aims to offer increased options for domestic consumers while fostering the delivery of services in a more innovative, cost-effective, and competitive manner.

During the interview on Sunday, Babalola explained that the new card would address the need for physical identification by allowing cardholders to prove their identity, gain access to government and private social services, promote financial inclusion for marginalised Nigerians, empower citizens, and encourage greater participation in nation-building initiatives.

He said the commission hoped the cards would be allocated to 104 million eligible applicants on the national identification number database as of the end of December 2023.

He said, “We shall be implementing the following programmes to revive the general multipurpose card issuance; first is the bank-enabled national ID card in collaboration with NIBSS and banks, while the second programme will be a social intervention card under the National Safety Net Card. The third rollout will be an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

“We are looking at May for the possible launch but that is also subject to presidential approval. It is just to finalise some very important details. The project will be powered by AfriGo, which is under the central bank but everything stops at the table of the President.”

In January 2023, the CBN launched AfriGo to drive financial inclusion using the card and boost data sovereignty.

AfriGO was birthed in Nigeria with continental aspirations, as ‘AFRI’ means culture, ethnic diversity, bravery, innovation, and growth, while “GO” symbolises progress, empowerment, inclusivity, and future-forward, among others.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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