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Nigeria’s NIMC introducing one multi-purpose digital ID card, not three

Nigeria’s NIMC introducing one multi-purpose digital ID card, not three

The National Identity Management Commission of Nigeria (NIMC) has clarified that only one new digital ID card with multiple functions will be introduced in the coming days.

This information is contained in a factsheet posted by the ID authority to its X platform on April 12. This comes after it announced the introduction of the card in a statement early this month, which sparked some confusion.

The announcement had led to various interpretations, including that the agency was planning to introduce three different cards, prompting scathing criticisms in the country’s conventional and social media spaces.

Many Nigerians complained that introducing new cards is a duplicative effort given that many other government-issued or backed IDs are already in existence.

Now, the NIMC has re-assured Nigerians that “the new National ID Card is a single, convenient, and General multipurpose card (GMPC) eliminating the need for multiple cards—not three.”

Reiterating some information about the imminent card which it released in its April 5 statement, the NIMC said the ID will have use cases in different sectors such as payments and the broader financial industry, government intervention and social services, and travels, among others.

“The card will be powered by the AFRIGO card scheme, an indigenous scheme powered by NIBSS. Applicants for the cards will have to request with their NIN through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices or their respective banks,” the NIMC notes. NIBSS is the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System with which the government has partnered over the years to issue Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) as a layer of security for bank account holders.

After the application process for the new multi-purpose card, it will be issued through the applicants’ respective banks in line with existing protocols with the issuance of debit/credit cards, the ID authority explains, adding that it “can be picked up by holders at the designated center or delivered to the applicants at the requested location at an extra cost to be borne by the applicants.”

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