The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled plans to launch a new national identity card with payment and social service delivery capabilities.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) disclosed this in a statement on its X handle on Saturday, April 6, signed by its head of corporate communication, Kayode Adegoke.

The card, to be powered by AfriGO, a national domestic card scheme, is launched by the Federal government through NIMC in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

Adegoke said the national ID card, layered with verifiable national identity features, is backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, noting that the Act mandates NIMC to enrol and issue a general multipurpose card (GMPC) to Nigerians and legal residents.

He said only registered citizens and legal residents with the national identification number (NIN) would be eligible to request the card, adding that the card would be produced according to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and be positioned as the country’s default national identity card.

“In addition to this functionality, cardholders will also be able to use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by linking the same to bank accounts of their choice. The card shall enable eligible persons, especially those financially excluded from social and financial services, to have access to multiple government intervention programs.

“This card will address the demand for physical identification, enabling cardholders to prove their identity, access government and private social services, facilitate financial inclusion for disenfranchised Nigerians, empower citizens, as well as encourage increased participation in nation-building,” he said.

Key features of the card will include a machine-readable zone (MRZ) in conformity with ICAO for e-passport information, the identity card issue date and document number in line with the ICAO standard, and Nigeria’s quick response code (NQR) containing the national identification number.

It will also contain biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and pictures, as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip and offline capability that allows transactions in areas with limited network coverage or zero infrastructure connectivity.

“Request for cards by registered citizens and legal residents will be made available online, at any commercial bank, various agencies or agents participating in multiple and/or any NIMC offices nationwide.”