Getting a National ID card takes up to 4 years in Nigeria: going digital will not solve the problem

Published: 20/Aug/2020

Olumuyiwa Olowogboyega

In Nigeria, attempts at creating a National ID card dates back to 1986. After several decades and millions of dollars, the government is now looking to take the process digital

In Nigeria, getting any accepted means of identification can be difficult. A driver’s licence costs up to ₦10,450 ($27) while a Nigerian passport with 10-year validity is ₦70,000 ($181). While the pricing of these documents means many Nigerians cannot afford them, the process of getting them is still slow.

It is not unusual for public officials to demand bribes before you can get a passport or driver’s licence in good time.

The free alternatives to a national identification card are the voters card and the national identity card.

While the voters card is issued during election season, the national identity card is supposed to be issued all year long.

Yet, in five years, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has had trouble issuing cards to millions of people who have registered. Innocent Chizaram, a Nigerian writer shared in this opinion piece that although he registered for an ID card in 2016, he is yet to receive it.

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