The Federal Executive Council, FEC has authorized a directive from the National Identity Management Commission that allows banks to print debit cards that also serve as National ID cards.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said this would be a form of the multipurpose card “where it’ll serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa or any other kind of card.”
He said, “As in the NIMC Act 2007, section 27, what is mandatory for our citizens and legal residents is the acquiring of the National Identity Number, not the card. However, the card is optional.”
“But many citizens, particularly those living in rural communities, always go to NIMC offices complaining that they need the card at hand, even though it’s optional.”
“To make it easier, NIMC last year, we introduced a smart ID card you can download from the NIMC app. It’s just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”
“NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria so citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks.”
“The bank is permitted to print the card along with either Mastercard or Visa card. And based on the agreement, it’s without any additional costs on our citizens.”
He further stated that NIMC and the CBN signed a nondisclosure agreement to preserve card applicants’ privacy and confidentiality.
Pantami stated that the council approved the deployment of an automated method to merge NINs with individual SIM cards in order to consolidate the NIN-SIM linkage implementation.