Source: Business Day (Nigeria)
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has given up on issuing identity cards to enrolled citizens, saying it will now focus on giving National Identification Numbers (NINs) without the card in a three-year plan outlined by its director-general, Aliyu Aziz Abubakar.
Experts say this new development will defeat the purpose of the national e-identity card, which is supposedly built with high tech functionalities to enable its use as Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card for banks, travel identification document and other functionalities through the use of a single smart card.
The commission has continued to insist that the issuance of an actual card is less important than the NINs for Nigerian citizens. However, it remains that significantly more Nigerians have Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) than those with NINs, despite the fact that enrolment process for national identity numbers started over a decade ago, compared to commencement of BVN enrolment in 2014, and about 47 percent unbanked population in Nigeria.
In September 2017, the NIMC said it had successfully enrolled 21.36 million Nigerians on the scheme started in 2014, while the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System had been able to deliver 32.8 million BVNs.