FG to Launch Upgraded National ID with Payment Functionality

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), acting on behalf of the Federal Government, has announced plans to introduce an enhanced national identity card equipped with payment capabilities for a wide range of social and financial services.
This groundbreaking initiative, developed in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), will be powered by AfriGO, a domestic card scheme.
Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, revealed the forthcoming launch in a statement released on Friday.
The new national ID card, integrated with verifiable identity features, aligns with the provisions of the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which mandates the commission to enroll and issue General Multipurpose Cards (GMPC) to Nigerian citizens and legal residents.
According to NIMC, the upgraded card will address the growing demand for physical identification, enabling cardholders to verify their identity and access various government and private social services.
Additionally, it aims to promote financial inclusion, particularly among marginalized populations, empowering individuals and fostering greater participation in nation-building endeavors.
To be eligible for the card, individuals must be registered citizens or legal residents possessing a National Identification Number (NIN), as mandated by NIMC.
“The card, which will be produced according to 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 same to bank accounts of their choice.
“The card shall enable eligible persons especially those financially excluded from social and financial services have access to multiple government interventions programs.
“In line with data protection regulation and public interest, NIMC 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,” the statement read in part.
Moreover, the card will facilitate access to multiple government intervention programs, including travel, health insurance, microloans, agriculture initiatives, food subsidies, transportation benefits, and energy subsidies.
It will incorporate Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR), containing the national identification number and biometric authentication data, ensuring secure identity verification.
Key features of the card include a Machine-readable Zone (MRZ) in conformation with ICAO for e-passport information, travel and health insurance information, offline transaction capabilities for areas with limited network coverage, and functionality as both a debit and prepaid card, catering to both banked and unbanked individuals.
NIMC has outlined various avenues for requesting the card, including online platforms, commercial banks, participating agencies or agents, and its nationwide offices, underscoring its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.
The introduction of the upgraded national identity card marks a significant step towards enhancing identity verification processes, promoting financial inclusion, and advancing Nigeria’s digital transformation agenda.
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