5 December 2012

Nigeria: Commission to Issue 40 Million Identity Cards Next Year

Enugu — Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Mr. Chirs Onyemenam, has said at least 40 million national identity cards would be issued to Nigerians next year in the first phase of the exercise.

Addressing a stakeholders forum yesterday in Enugu, Onyemenam said not less than 13 million enrolments are currently being expected from citizens who must be issued the new identity cards. He said the cards ensure a trusted means of identification, improved physical security and more secured business environment.

He said the period of processing the new national ID card and making it available to every citizen that enrolled would take about 30 months, adding that the old national identity card would be phased out gradually.

He said the concept of the latest national ID card is to ensure that nobody has multiple identity cards in Nigeria.

"The system that we are using now is geared towards ensuring that an individual will have only one identification means from birth to death. We want to be able to ensure that the identity of a particular person doing business in Nigeria is well-disclosed or known. What we are doing now will eliminate the multiplication of identity cards in the country. We want to create a national identity database that will contain vital information on an individual's, information that will be updated periodically," he said.

Onyemenam said the commission would collaborate with the Nigerian Immigration Service to ensure only foreigners who entered the country legally, and have lived in it for not less than two years would obtain the new national ID card.

On the fear that the new ID card might be faked by fraud stars, the Director General said the new ID card has certain inbuilt security features that made it impossible for anyone to fake. On how the rural dwellers can obtain the new ID card, he said the commission would gradually reach out to the grassroots, using its various offices at regional, state, and then local government council level.

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