Discover the revolutionary change in Nigeria’s financial sector as commercial banks are now authorized to issue dual-purpose National Identity Number (NIN) cards.
Learn about the government’s commitment to digital transformation and confidentiality.
Explore the future of identity verification and the financial system in Nigeria.
Banks to Issue National Identity Number (NIN) Cards
In a landmark decision made by the Nigerian Federal Government, commercial banks are now authorized to issue National Identity Number (NIN) cards to citizens.
Ministerial Statement on NIN Card Issuance
Prof. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, revealed this new development as a response to the increasing demand by Nigerians for tangible identification cards.
This move is seen as an active collaboration between the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) – an endeavor sealed with a nondisclosure agreement to safeguard the privacy of applicants.
An Intersection of Identity and Finance
This governmental approval was unveiled during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The decision allows Nigerians to request from their respective banks a debit card that serves the dual purpose of a bank and national identity card, without incurring additional costs.
Exploring the NIMC Act and Mandatory NIN
Although the NIMC Act of 2007 solely mandates Nigerians to possess a National Identity Number, it does not expressly require a physical card.
Prof. Pantami emphasized that only the NIN is obligatory, but the demand for a physical identity card remains high, particularly in rural areas.
Innovation for Rural Communities
To address these demands, and in line with providing easier access for rural communities, the NIMC introduced a smart ID card, available for download from the NIMC app.
However, understanding the limitations of digital access in rural communities, the NIMC aligned with the CBN to permit citizens to acquire these cards from banks.
Multi-utility Card for Nigerians
With this move, Nigerians can now apply for a multi-utility card that serves as both a national identity card and a bank card.
Prof. Pantami assured citizens that these cards could be printed in banks, at no additional cost.
Maintaining Confidentiality and Privacy
Reiterating the government’s commitment to privacy, Prof. Pantami disclosed that the NIMC and the CBN have signed a nondisclosure agreement.
This is to ensure the confidentiality of the applicant’s data during the card issuance process.
A Forward-looking Move: Integrating NIN with SIM
In a bid to streamline the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage, the FEC approved a memo proposing the deployment of an automated system.
Prof. Pantami stated that this innovation would help clean up the database and simplify the SIM replacement process for Nigerians or legal residents.
this new policy reflects the Nigerian government’s commitment to driving the digital economy and providing its citizens with more accessible identity and financial services.
As the implementation unfolds, Nigerians are expected to witness an easier process of identity verification, while also embracing an improved financial system.