The Federal Government has directed commercial banks and other financial institutions to issue new cards to customers, that will serve as Automatic Teller Machines, ATM, and National Identification Numbers, NIN, card.

This was made known by announced, Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in a press briefing after the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, 24th May, 2023.

The minister explained that the approval by the federal government is as a result of a memo from the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards, that double as National identity cards.

“It is going to be a form of multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa or any other kind of card”, Pantami reiterated.

He further said, “it is going to be a form of multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs on our citizens”.

To reduce hardship, Pantami said, the NIMC had partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, “so that citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks. The bank is permitted to print the card along with either Mastercard or Visa card.

“By implication, it means that, when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate ‘I want this card to be dual purpose, where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’. They are going to be printed on the same card and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs”.

The Minister disclosed that NIMC and the CBN signed a non-disclosure agreement to protect the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants. “The Nigerian Communications Commission came up with a proposal that will enhance the implementation of the policy and bring many more benefits to it”, he said.

The system, he noted, would consolidate the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage and the automated system would sanitise the database and ease the process of SIM replacement for Nigerians or legal residents.

Story: Ezekiel Kefas


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