NIMC to launch upgraded national ID card


The Federal Government’s next initiative is to introduce a new national identity card that includes payment capabilities and additional social service functionalities.


The new national identity card project is a joint effort between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).The new national ID card, developed by the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), is an advanced identification solution that incorporates payment capabilities for a wide range of social and financial services.


AfriGO, a national domestic card programme, would provide the electricity for the project.

The National ID card, which contains reliable national identity characteristics, is supported by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, which requires the NIMC to register and provide a General Multipurpose Card (GMPC) to Nigerian citizens and legal residents.


For the NIMC, this innovation would cater to the need for physical identification by allowing cardholders to authenticate their identity and avail themselves of government and private social services.


Additionally, it would promote financial inclusivity for marginalised Nigerians, empower individuals, and foster greater engagement in nation-building.

The NIMC has specified that only those who have registered as citizens or legal residents and possess a National Identification Number (NIN) will be able to apply for the card.The primary national identity card for the country will comply with ICAO requirements.


Furthermore, cardholders will have the capability to use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by establishing a connection between them and their preferred bank accounts.

The card will have several important characteristics, including a machine-readable zone (MRZ) that follows the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements for e-passport information.


It will also display the date of issue for the identity card and a document number that meets the ICAO regulations.

Other elements encompass travel, health insurance details, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transportation, and energy subsidies, among several others.

The card will have Nigeria’s rapid response code (NQR), which will contain the national identification number and biometric authentication, such as fingerprints and photos.


This code will serve as the primary method for verifying identity using the card chip’s stored data.

Offline functionality that enables transactions in regions with poor network coverage or no infrastructure connectivity.

The card will have the capability to function as both a debit and prepaid card, serving the needs of people who have access to banking services as well as those who do not.


The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) also announced that registered citizens and legal residents may now request their identity cards online through commercial banks, partnering agencies or agents, and NIMC locations around the country.

By Nnaemeka Odenigbo

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