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Confusion, Criticisms Hit NIMC’s Proposed Multiple National ID Cards

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There’ve been mixed reactions in Nigeria after the federal government unveiled plans to introduce a new multi-purpose national digital ID card, with some describing it as a duplicative effort and a waste of resources.

Confusion, Criticisms Hit NIMC’s Proposed Multiple National ID Cards

Also, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Delta State governorship aspirant, has said the Federal Government’s initiative to introduce three National identity cards for citizens is nothing but a waste of resources of the people.

Just last in a statement,  the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), said the new ID card, whose launch is supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, will have payments and social service delivery functions, and will facilitate access to other services including travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, just to mention a few.

The agency added that among other features, the credential, to be powered by a national ID card scheme dubbed AfriGo, will have a machine-readable zone (MRZ) in line with ICAO’s standards for biometric passports, a QR code that will contain the holder’s national identification number (NIN), and the possibility for face and fingerprints biometric authentication as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip.

After the NIMC announcement, Ayodele Babalola, technical adviser for Media and Communications, NIMC, later made a declaration which appeared to be different from the substance of the ID authority’s April 5 statement.

In an interview with Punch, the official said three new cards will be introduced (apparently different from the announced multi-function card), and they’ll comprise a bank-enabled ID, a social protection card and another – the (ENBIC) which will be used within the West African community.

He didn’t not mention when these cards will be launched, saying the decision would be sequel to a clearance by the presidency.

The number of new cards to be introduced notwithstanding, the announcements come as Nigeria is pursing efforts to expand coverage of the NIN – another digital ID – which has so far been issued to nearly 105 million people.

The World Bank recently lauded Nigeria’s NIN issuance progress in a report.

Different states in the country, including Edo and Lagos also have biometric resident ID cards for different purposes.

Across the country’s social media space, there have been strong criticism of the NIMC’s announcement of yet other cards.

“We have NIN and voter’s card. What stops the federal government from integrating whatever technology they have from those? Putting Nigerians through another round of stress is unnecessary. This smells like a well packaged fraud as usual. We are not kids anymore,” Rita Sunshine, an X user commented under the NIMC’s announcement.

Another X user identified as AI Ken asked rhetorical questions: “APC season of national card Vs new card. Are all these for our benefits or for the benefit of contractors? What is the different between NIN, PVC, BVN and this upcoming card?”

Elsewhere, Onuesoke, PDP chieftain, described the plan NIMC initiative as a big joke that will be tantamount to the waste of the depleted national funds, taxpayers’ money and waste of time of the masses.

Onuesoke said that it was amazing that Nigerian leaders are always avoiding the main problems that need to be resolved in the country, but go after duplicated ones that may end up creating more problems for Nigerians.

He argued that it is better and probably more efficient to have one identity database that covers all Nigerians, rather than multiple sectoral identity databases that may be a source of confusion or even a loophole for fraud.

He maintained that the government could just, as well, have focused on getting Nigerians to obtain the NIN means of identity just as he described the exercise of obtaining other identities as a waste of funds, time, human resources and misplacement of priorities.

“This country is a huge joke. Always avoiding the main problems that needed to be solved but rather going after artificial issues.

“We already have the BVN, NIN, PVC, driver’s license and international passport. Why do we need three national identity cards? What is really wrong with our leaders?

“At every slightest opportunity, they want to cash out by duplicating projects and subjecting the masses to another round of torture by going to queue for this arrant nonsense,” he averred.

 

 


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NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

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Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) has said the certification of data protection professionals in the country will significantly reduce capital flight and create more than 500,000 jobs in the sector.

NDPC Empowers Institute to Certify Data Protection Professionals

L-r: Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC and Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management,

Dr. Vincent Olatunji, executive commissioner, NDPC, stated this at the presentation of the certificate of licence to the Institute of Information Management (IMF) in Abuja.

He said the certification of data protection professionals would not only enhance the protection of personal data, but also boost the country’s economic growth and development.

The projection comes as the commission intensifies efforts to promote data protection and privacy in Nigeria’s rapidly growing digital economy.

According to Dr. Olatunji, the move aims to enhance the capacity of organisations to protect personal data and promote compliance with Nigeria’s data protection regulations.

Establishing a local institution to train and certify Nigerians would significantly enhance local content in the sector, the NDPC boss hinted.

The commission, he assured his audience, was already exploring the possibility of implementing the licencing framework across Africa—a move that could potentially harmonise data protection standards and expertise across the continent.

Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president of the Institute of Information Management, said the licence would effectively address the existing gap in the data protection ecosystem, providing a much-needed solution.

Recalling that the certification process began in 2021, Dr. Oyewole reaffirmed the institute’s dedication to excellence, pledging to provide top-notch education in data protection and set a benchmark for the country’s education system in this field.

The IIM’s certification programmes will cover essential topics such as data protection principles, risk management, and compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

The initiative is expected to boost the confidence of organisations and individuals in the country’s data protection landscape.

 

 


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CrediCorp Partners FintechNGR to Drive Consumer Credit Initiative

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Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CrediCorp), has partnered Fintech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR) to drive consumer credit scheme initiative through a robust payment platform that would be provided by members of FinTechNGR.

Speaking at a Social Meet in Lagos, organised by FinTechNGR, with the theme: “Augmenting the Future, AI, Credit and Transformation of Nigerian Finance,” the Chairman, CrediCorp Board of Directors, Aderemi Abdul-Bojela, said members of FinTechNGR would have specific roles to play in the partnership, in the areas of providing robust platform for money transfer, technology evaluation, among others.

“Today, CrediCorp is engaging with members of FinTechNGR in a social interactive gathering to discuss collaboration and support for the growth of Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria. We want to interact to understand how technology will drive the crediCorp initiative in Nigeria and also to understand the role that members of FinTechNGR will play in all of these initiatives around CrediCorp,” Abdul-Bojela said.

Describing the partnership as a welcome development that will enhance savings culture among Nigerians, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of FinTechNGR, Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, said: “FinTechNGR is an enabler of technology advancement in Nigeria. We bring the players together to drive technology innovation.

“Our role in the FinTechNGR-CrediCorp partnership is to ensure that our members support the growth of consumer credit in Nigeria, by providing the relevant payment platforms for all financial transactions among the banks who are the lenders, the customers who are the burrowers and the CrediCorp who is the guarantor.”

Speaking about the benefits for Nigerians, Obrimah said the Consumer Credit Corporation in Nigeria would enhance the country’s credit culture and enable Nigerians to save and plan well with their savings. “The initiative will address inflation, help in liquidity flow, build trust in customers’ borrowing, boost credit culture and enhance the culture of savings among Nigerians,” Obrimah said.

Addressing the issue of risk and consumer trust, Abdul-Bojela said the CrediCorp has put measures in place to ensure that the banks that would be involved in lending, would be protected and guaranteed of the repayment of the loans within the CrediCorp ecosystem.

He said there would be an independent management that would ensure that the right technology is put in place to recover all monies.


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NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

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Kashifu Abdullahi, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), announced plans to integrate digital literacy into Nigeria’s education system, to achieve a 70% literacy rate by 2027 and 95% by 2030.

NITDA to Integrate of Digital Literacy into School Curriculum

Kashifu Abdullah, DG, NITDA

The NITDA’s DG made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja during a media parley.

He stated that in order to include digital literacy in the curriculum at all educational levels, from kindergarten to university, the Agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education.

Abdullahi, said that this program would equip Nigerians with the digital know-how and abilities they need to succeed in the digital economy.

He emphasized that NITDA would also launch the “Digital Literacy for All Initiative” to educate Nigerians outside the formal education system and provide access to quality digital content.

Nigeria would train over two million young people in in-demand IT skills in order to become significant global outsourcing hub

NITDA is also collaborating with the Defence Headquarters and security agencies to develop digital solutions to address security concerns, including the use of drones, artificial intelligence, and other digital resources to combat banditry, abduction, and terrorism, he said.

 

According to him, the agency’s draft SRAP 2.0 plan aims to establish Nigeria as a digitally empowered nation, with a focus on innovation, national prosperity, and inclusivity.

The director general of NITDA added that, if successfully implemented, this strategy could propel Nigeria into a new phase of digital empowerment and leadership in the global digital economy.


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