Banks Can Now Issue NIN Cards To Nigerians – FG


Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, revealed this on Wednesday in Abuja, claiming that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was where the consent was granted.


He clarified that the clearance came as a result of a communication from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) permitting banks to produce dual-purpose debit cards.


He said: ”It is going to be a form of the multipurpose card where it will 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.”


Pantami claims that despite the NIMC Act of 2007 merely requiring Nigerians to have a National Identity Number and not necessarily a printed card, demand for cards has increased.


“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 is just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”


Pantami explained that NIMC and the Central Bank of Nigeria had teamed up to make things easier, "so that citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks."


He claims that the bank is allowed to print both the card and a Mastercard or Visa card.


“It is going to be a form of a multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs to our citizens.


“So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple purposes where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’.


“Both of them are going to be printed on the same card and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs.”


In order to safeguard the secrecy and privacy of card applicants, the Minister revealed that NIMC and the CBN had signed a nondisclosure agreement.


“NIMC and the central bank signed a nondisclosure agreement where your privacy and your confidentiality must be respected in the course of providing the card for you.


“When you apply for the card, the bank will apply online to NIMC through their database.


”When they verify and confirm that your record in the database is in alignment with your record in the NIMC database, it will be permitted and the card is going to be printed for you immediately,” the minister added.


The Minister added that the FEC had also approved a document that called for the implementation of an automated mechanism to link NINs to specific SIM cards.


He pointed out that the technology will streamline the NIN-SIM linkage implementation.


According to Pantami, the automated system will clean up the database and make it simpler for Nigerians or authorized residents to update their SIM cards.


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