The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed plans to issue electronic identity cards (e-ID) to 70 million Nigerians in a bid to further boost financial inclusion drive.
According to the Nigeria Communications Week, the issuance of the 70 million new cards is expected to be completed by December 2019.
The e-ID card was launched by former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 but there have been issues with issuance; those that registered for the card a year after its launch are yet to get one.
During the launch then, the former president made a show of using the card to withdraw cash from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). The card is embedded with a payment chip which is attributable to a partnership between the commission and MasterCard Inc.
“There are plans to expand the collaboration by including other payment companies, with the ultimate target of covering all citizens,” said Aliyu Aziz, NIMC Director-General.
Surely, working with payment companies on the e-ID card can have a great effect on the financial inclusion drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
And the federal government is already exploiting the potentials of the e-ID scheme as the National Identity Number (NIN) which is generated after registering with NIMC is now a requisite to get an international passport. The number is also mandatory for land allocation in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
A unified database would not only help with the financial inclusion drive, it has proven to help cost waste. The federal government through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) uncovered 80,000
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), created in 2010, was mandated by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 to register people the Act covers and give each person a unique National Identification Number (NIN).
According to the NIMC, the essence of each individual having an NIN is part of a measure to create a national identity database and to put a stop to both double identity and identity fraud. Upon registration, individuals will be provided with an NIN and eventually a national ID card.
In 2018, the NIMC revealed plans to complete issuing electronic identity cards (e-ID) to 70 million Nigerians by the end of December 2019. However, with many people complaining about not having the e-ID after the registration, it appears that the commission has not met its target.
In addition, the commission is also expected to provide citizens, as well as others legally residing within the country, with a General Multi-Purpose Card (GMPC).
The GMPC is embedded with a payment chip to enable users to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM). Consequently, the commission partnered with Chams consortiums, OneSecureCard consortium, SecureID, and Iris Technologies to provide the data capture services and the GMPC.
How to check your NIN using USSD code
If you have enrolled for the national ID card scheme, you can get your NIN by dialling *346# from the phone number associated with your voter’s card, drivers licence, or BVN registration.
Ensure you have at least ₦20 airtime on your line and then dial the code. Then you either write or take a screenshot when the NIN is displayed on the screen as it will not be displayed more than once.
At the moment, the USSD code works on MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile.