National Identity: FG dumps plastic card for digital format

The Federal government has discontinued the use of plastic national identity card in preference for the digital format.

The measure is based on the need to fully go digital and also save the nation scare foreign exchange.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this at the presidential villa, Abuja shortly after submitting the report of the committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonization to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the National Identification Number (NIN) issued to Nigerians by the Nigerian Identify Management Commission (NIMC) will take the place of the plastic card.

Aregbesola explained that this is part of Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation programme of the government to bring the country’s identity management in line with modern standards.

The minister added: “The card is just for convenience; the real thing is the number you have. With that number, you are on the databank, everything about you is there.

“We are just upgrading it such that your DNA too will be there very soon. Even if you are in a car, I will know if you are the one in the car with your DNA, it’s already captured. You are already captured, you cannot run away anymore. “

Speaking along the same line, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Nigeria, Isa Patami, stressed that the plastic card has been abandoned.

He stated: “What the chairman (Aregbesola) is saying now is that we are no more talking about cards, the world has gone digital, so that card is no more.

“Our priority now is digital ID, it will be attached to your database wherever you are. So, if you can memorize it by heart, wherever you go that central database domiciled with NIMC will be able to provide the number and each of your data will be provided.

“Now, our focus is no longer on producing cards, that card is only for record but what is important is that the digital ID and if you notice we have started using the digital ID on an international passport. Once you have the digital ID but not the card, we are 100 per cent done with you. “

In his remark, the Director-General of NIMC Aliyu Aziz said Nigeria has adopted the global trend, which will, in turn, save the nation scare forex spent in producing the cards.

He said: “With your national ID you are already identified, in the US it is called social security number, the same with UK and India, they can control more than 1.3 billion people in about seven minutes.

So we have found that this card is strenuous, it is forex that is going out of the country and we are in the 21st century and that is why we are focusing on national identification number and other identifications by other agencies have been linked to NIMC.”


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