With the launch of the new National electronic identity card scheme , there may not be a hiding place again for unscrupulous Nigerians engaging in identity theft and other criminal vices that have been threatening Nigeria?s national interests and growth
For one thing, the scheme which is expected to signal the start of Africa?s largest financial inclusion, according to keen observers, would end the regime of duplication of biometric data bases in the country.
Interestingly, by using the card as a payment tool, Nigerians can deposit funds, receive social benefits, save, or engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments with the extra security assurance that biometric verification provides.
Jonathan-e-ID-CardHowever, upon completion of the pilot program, the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC), it was learnt was planning to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria?s 167 million citizens.
In the pilot phase, however, the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will issue MasterCard-branded identity cards with electronic payments functionality to 13 million Nigerians.
This initiative is the largest rollout of a biometric-based verification card with an electronic payment solution in the country and by extension, the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa.
Accordingly, the eID card forms a key component of the Nigerian Identity Management System, deployed by NIMC as part of its mandate to create, maintain and operate the country?s first central National Identity Database and provide proof of identity to Nigerians 16 years and older.
With 13 applications, including MasterCard?s prepaid payment technology and Cryptovision?s biometric identification technology, the eID card is expected to provide millions of Nigerians with the security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments.
Speaking at the formal Launch of the Issuance Process for the National Electronic Identity Card (E-Id Card) in Abuja, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with optimism said that the new e-card era would address identity related theft and other criminal activities affecting socio-economic development of the country. According to him, the scheme would build a window to a social security benefit system, adding that it is a card every Nigerian should get.
Already, President Jonathan had received his National eID card, heralding the official launch of the eID pilot program.
?The regime of duplication of Biometric data bases must now have to give way to harmonization and unification with the e-ID scheme, which shall be the primary data base.
?Proliferation and duplication of efforts is neither cost effective, nor security-smart. It is important to remove obstacles that may impede the NIMC from the discharge of its constitutional functions and statutory obligations.
?The combination of intricate security features and other multiple functions in the e-ID Card, improving its functionality and versatility is also significant.
?Such high standard will help create economic and employment opportunities, consistent with our commitment to National Transformation,? he explained