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Nigerians Express Displeasure at the Newly Proposed National ID

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The Nigerian Government has announced an initiative to aid identification in the country.  NIMC announced the initiative on X. The government plans to roll out a new form of national identification system that comes with payment integrations and social service delivery functions. 

NIMC

NIMC Announces A New National Identification System

Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the Director-General of NIMC, Ayodele Babalola, stated his opinion relating to the initiative. He stated that Nigerians will get a bank-enabled national ID through the proposed scheme. Also, they get a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card. He, however, declared that the launch date (May), was subject to the approval of the Presidency. 

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) disclosed the news in an X post with a statement signed by Kayode Adegoke, the body’s corporate communication lead. 

According to the official statement, AfriGo will power the ID, a national card scheme created by the country’s apex bank (CBN) to perform domestic transactions, such as existing debit cards and the like. The Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is teaming with the NIMC and the central bank for the initiative. 

NIMC Pens the ID Key Features

The statement further read, “The card, which will be produced according to ICAO standards, is positioned as the country’s default national identity card. Additionally, cardholders can 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.

In line with data protection regulation and public interest, NIMC 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.”

Nigerians’ Response to the New Initiative 

Most Nigerians questioned the reason for a new form of identification. Some called the new initiative redundant and unnecessary. A netizen claimed the identification was not in favor of the masses. The comments are listed below. 

James Kalu, an X user, said, “Another way to milk Nigerians again; keep it coming to the APC government.”

Another X user also stated, “You people should keep suffering Nigerians. What’s the need for NIN, Voters Card, Drivers license, and International Passport?”

A netizen asked, “And we’re back on the biometrics capture roller coaster, abi?”

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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