Nigerians urge FG to unify proposed three national ID cards

In response to the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) plans to launch three new national identity cards in May this year, Nigerians have voiced concerns over potential complications and called for unification. The proposed cards include a bank-enabled National ID card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

POLITICS NIGERIA learned that various individuals highlighted the importance of streamlining identity systems into a single card, akin to practices in developed nations. Mrs. Toyosi Olawale, a businesswoman, emphasized the efficiency and security benefits of a unified system, citing the ease of access to individual information.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mr. Abubakar Salami, a lecturer, stressed the necessity of perfecting existing identification systems like the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN) before introducing new multipurpose cards to avoid confusion among citizens.

Nanko Paul, a student at the University of Abuja, urged the Federal Government to simplify processes rather than complicate them with additional cards.

Prof. Adeshina Sodiya, former President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), advised NIMC to seek expert consultation and conduct strategic workshops to ensure the success and effectiveness of the proposed multipurpose identity cards.

In response to concerns, Ayodele Babalola, the Technical Adviser on Media and Communications to the NIMC Director-General, clarified that the new cards aimed to address various needs of the Nigerian populace through collaboration between NIMC, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

The initiative is designed to enhance service delivery in a cost-effective and competitive manner.

As the launch date approaches, stakeholders continue to engage in discussions regarding the potential impact and feasibility of the proposed national identity cards, emphasizing the importance of effective implementation and collaboration among relevant organizations.

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