The World Bank, along with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU), has reportedly provided $433 million for Nigeria’s national identity card project.
The five-year project will be organised under the Digital Identity Ecosystem framework, which was developed for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to work with public and private partners. This will allow the effective collection and enrolment of Nigerians in the National Identity Database and the efficient issuance of the National Identity Number (NIN).
Although NIMC has yet to name the various partners at this time, it has stated that such service providers would include Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as qualified private vendors and civil society organisations.
It would be possible to apply for your driver’s licence or international passport and your NIN at the same time.
Although enrolment would be free, NIMC has plans to remunerate private vendors for each successful enrolment, which includes the complete issuance of a valid and unique NIN to applicants.
This injection of funds by the World Bank and others coincides with the Nigerian Army’s plans to implement strict identity checks in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states. With Operation Positive Identification the army hopes to identify suspected militants using valid means of identification.
Consequently, members of the public are enjoined to always carry valid means of identification when moving or passing through the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Our troops have been instructed to strictly check valid means of identification such as National Identification…
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) September 22, 2019
In a nation where only 38% of the population has been formally identified, it remains to be seen whether this initiative will succeed.