CDD FACT-CHECK: Has FG Dumped the National ID Card and Replaced it with Digital Identity?

Published: 18/Aug/2020
Source: Centre for Democracy and Development (Abuja)

VERDICT: Misleading

CLAIM: On Thursday, August 13, 2020, multiple news sources published a claim that the Federal Government of Nigeria has dumped the use of the National Identity Card for Digital Identity.

One of the headlines read ‘’ FG dumps Plastic National Identity Card for Digital Identification’’

The claim published by various news organisations including Vanguard, the Sun, and Daily Trust claimed the Federal Government abandoned printed ID cards for Digital mode of identification.

The reports attributed the claim to the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.


The Federal Government of Nigeria did not say it has dumped the printed Identity Card currently in use by citizens.

A statement by the Minister said the presidential committee had recommended that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) exclusively collect biometric data of all Nigeria.

According to Aregbesola, all agencies capturing identity data should be directed to commence full enforcement of National Identitification Number (NIN) as a requirement for accessing their services.

A review of the statement by CDD fact-checkers shows that the minister never said that the printed identity cards would be dumped by the Federal Government.

Aregbesola said the data collected should be stored alongside its licensees; exclusive in the National Identity Database.

He also called for the discontinuance of biometric data storage of new registration by all agencies and institutions in Nigeria.

The committee also recommended a mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) by all Mobile Network Operations (MNOs) for issuance of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).

The use of NIN, the committee said should be in effect from June 30, 2021, and subject to the issuance of NIN by NIMC to at least 80 per cent of the population and NIN as a unique identifier for all public servants.

To further verify the claim, CDD fact-checkers reached out to the Press Secretary to the Minister of Interior, Mrs Jane Osuji, who said the claim was misleading.

Osuji said the Minister never said the country was going to discontinue issuance of printed cards.

“No, that headline is misleading, I don’t even know how they came about such a headline,” Osuji said.


The claim that the Federal Government of Nigeria has dumped National Identity cards or replaced the National ID cards with Digital Identity is misleading.

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Themes: ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Nigeria
Year: 2020