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New National ID: ‘I Hope Nigerians Won’t Be Asked To Pay’, Shehu Sani Reacts

2 months ago
2 mins read

Former Nigerian lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has expressed concerns over possibility of subjecting Nigerians to make payments for the new national identity card that the federal government plans to unveil soon.

Prime Business Africa reports that the the Federal Government through the National ldentity Management Commission (NIMC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), has launched a new integrated national identity card with payment functionality for all types of social and financial services.

According to a statement by the NIMC Head, Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, the project is to be powered by AfriGO, a National domestic card scheme.

Mr Adegoke explained that creating the new national identity card 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.”

Revealing why the national ID card is important, the NIMC spokesperson said: “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.”

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The statement indicated that only registered citizens and legal residents with the National Identification Number (NIN) will be eligible to request the card. While assuring that it will be produced according to ICAO standards, it stated that it 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 especialy those financially excluded from social and financial services have access to multiple government interventions programs.”

The Commission also assured that in line with data protection regulation and public interest, it 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.

While reacting to the announcement about the new national ID card, Sani, who is also a human rights activist wrote via his X handle thus: “I hope Nigerians will not be asked to pay for the ‘upgraded’ National ID card that would be launched soon.”

The former lawmaker’s comment resonates with the feelings of many Nigerians who are also expressing apprehension about modalities to be adopted by the federal government in making the citizens obtain the cards and whether it is mandatory and would involve paying money for the cards.

NIMC said request for cards can be made by registered citizens and legal residents online, at any commercial bank, various agencies or agents participating in multiple programs and/or any NIMC offices nationwide.

It however, did not state whether citizens would pay or not.


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