FG replaces current plastic identity card with digital


The federal government yesterday announced a plan to replace the current plastic national identity card with digital national identification card to be domiciled with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The minister of interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this in an interview with journalists after he submitted the report of the committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonization to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja yesterday.

He explained that the use of identity card is for convenience purpose.

“The card is just for convenience; the real thing is the number you have. With that number you are on the databank, everything about you is there. We are just upgrading it such that your DNA too will be there very soon. Even if you are in a car, I will know if you are the one in the car with your deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), it’s already captured. You are already captured, you cannot run away anymore,” he said.

“Even if you’re in a car, I’ll know if you’re the one in the car with your DNA, it’s already captured. You’re already captured, you cannot run away anymore.”

He said that it would now be mandatory to also go through NIMC for SIM registration.

Also speaking, the minister of communication and digital economy, Mr. Isa Patami, said the federal government’s priority was on the digital identity card.

He said the attention of the programme would no more be production of cards, but strengthening the digital platform.

“What the chairman is saying now is that we’re no more talking about cards. The world has gone digital. So, that card is no more. Our priority now is digital ID; it’ll be attached to your database wherever you’re.

“So, if you can memorize it by heart, wherever you go, that central database domiciled with NIMC will be able to provide the number and every of your data will be provided.

“Now, our focus is no longer on producing cards. That card is only for record, but what is important is that the digital ID and if you notice, we’ve started using the digital ID on international passport. Once you have the digital ID but not the card, we’re 100 percent done with you,” Pantami said.

For his part, the director general of NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz, said Nigeria had shifted its focus on national identification number as the plastic card had become a drain on the economy because of forex outflow.

“With your national ID, you are already identified. In the United States, it’s called social security number, the same with UK and….they can control more than 1.3 billion people in about seven minutes.

“So, we’ve found that this card is strenuous, it’s forex that’s going out of the country and we’re in 21st century and that’s why we’re focusing on national identification number and other identifications by other agencies have been linked to NIMC,” he said.


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