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‘To facilitate financial inclusion’ — FG to launch multipurpose national ID card

The federal government has unveiled plans to launch a multipurpose national identity card.

The identity solution is equipped with payment capability for all types of social and financial services.

According to a statement on Friday, the initiative is a collaboration between the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

NIMC said the project, powered by AfriGO, a national domestic card scheme, would drive growth and facilitate financial inclusion.

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The commission also said only registered citizens and legal residents with the national identification number (NIN) will be eligible to request the card.

“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,” the statement reads.

“This card will address the demand for physical identification enabling cardholders to 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 card, which will be produced according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (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 the same 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 programs.”

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

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Highlighting key features, the commission said the machine-readable zone (MRZ) conforms with ICAO standards 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,” NIMC said.

“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, and functionality as a debit and prepaid card catering to both banked and unbanked individuals.”

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The NIMC said the cards would be made available on request online for registered citizens and legal residents.

The commission said Nigerians can request for the card at any commercial bank, various agencies or agents participating in multiple programmes and/or any NIMC offices nationwide.

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The identity body asked Nigerians to visit www.nimc.gov.ng for further information.

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