NIMC’s Proposed National ID receives Public Pushback

NIMC’s Proposed National ID receives Public Pushback

The Federal government’s recent announcement of plans to introduce three new national identity cards in May has received a chilly reception from the public. The initiative, aimed at targeting 104 million citizens, is part of a larger effort to establish a unified and secure digital identity framework across the nation.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) disclosed this information through a statement signed by Kayode Adegoke, the corporate communication lead, on April 6th. The new ID cards will be powered by AfriGo, a national card scheme created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to facilitate domestic transactions.

Teaming up with the NIMC and the CBN for this initiative is the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS). However, reactions from the public, particularly on social media, indicate widespread discontent. Many Nigerians feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of identification schemes over the years, including national ID cards, bank verification numbers (BVN), and national identification numbers (NIN).

Read Also: NIMC Set to Launch NIN Registration App for Nigerians in Diaspora

Under the proposed scheme, citizens will receive a bank-enabled national ID, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card. However, critics argue that the system is unnecessarily complicated and redundant.

Despite previous government allocations of over N50 billion to NIMC for equipment procurement, challenges persist in the registration and linking of identification numbers with SIM cards. Some skeptics, like Nigerian tech journalist Idris Abubakar, doubt the effectiveness of the new proposal, citing past failures and a lack of clarity on addressing previous shortcomings.

The controversy is further fueled by concerns over the vulnerability of the Nigerian National Identity document, as highlighted in the 2024 Digital Identity Fraud in Africa Report by Smile ID. With the system ranking 9th in vulnerability continent-wide, questions remain regarding the efficacy and security of the proposed national ID system.

Read Also: NIMC DG/CEO Engages with Police Commissioner on NIN’s Role in National Security

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