Nigeria plans to launch a new national payment-integrated ID

April 7, 2024
2 min read
  • The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has announced plans to launch a payment-integrated ID for social and financial services.
  • The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have partnered in this initiative, leveraging AfriGo, a domestic card scheme of national stature, to power its operations.
  • Recall that in January 2023, the CBN launched AfriGo to drive financial inclusion using the card and boost data sovereignty. 

According to the NIMC, the new card will 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.

This development is per 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 commission stated that only citizens and legal residents registered with the National Identification Number (NIN) will be eligible to apply for the card, meeting ICAO standards and serving as the country's primary national identity card. 

This initiative will allow eligible individuals, particularly those currently excluded from social and financial services, to access several government intervention programmes. Cardholders will also use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by connecting them to their preferred bank account.   

Nigerians have reacted angrily to this development, citing the rigorous experience associated with the current NIN, which includes queuing and elongation. 

Consequently, the NIMC clarified that registered citizens and legal residents can obtain cards from online platforms, commercial banks, participating agencies or agents in various programmes, and NIMC offices in the country. 

In March 2024, The federal government announced the inauguration of the Nigeria Digital Identification for Development Project Ecosystem Steering Committee.

This Committee will guide the strategic direction of the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project, which aims to establish a secure and verifiable digital identity for every Nigerian, improving service delivery and governance while creating opportunities for growth in the digital economy.

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