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Buhari Government Orders Commercial Banks To Issue National Identity, NIN Cards To Nigerians

May 25, 2023

Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, saying the issuance comes at no cost.


The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government has said that Nigerians can now request their commercial banks to issue them with a debit card that doubles as their national identity card.
Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, saying the issuance comes at no cost.
SaharaReporters had last week reported how Pantami was also lobbying to bring out some last-minute contracts to feather his nest before the May 29 handing over.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that Pantami and Sabiu "Tunde" Yusuf, Buhari's personal secretary, allegedly colluded to grant licences for broadcast frequencies in the 600MHz spectrum band by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in the twilight of the Buhari administration.
SaharaReporters had learnt that Pantami and Yusuf would grant such licences to companies linked to their cronies and associates in the Aso Rock Villa, cabals, as well as a close ally of the “president-elect”, Bola Tinubu.
Meanwhile, on the NIN to be issued by banks, Pantami stated that the approval was obtained at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, which was presided over by Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the approval followed a memo from the National Identity Management Commission allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards that double as National identity cards.
The Minister explained that” 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.”
According to Pantami, although the NIMC Act 2007 only mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number and not necessarily a printout card, demands for cards have swelled nonetheless.
“As in the NIMC Act 2007, section 27, what is mandatory for our citizens and legal residents is the acquiring of the National Identity Number, not the card. However, the card is optional.
“So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple purposes where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’.
”Both of them 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 nondisclosure agreement to protect the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants. He assured of the privacy and confidentiality of card users.
Pantami further stated that, when a person requests for the card, the bank will need to connect to the NIMC through their database.
He said that afterwards, the bank verifies the person’s details which must be in tandem with the record in the NIMC database. Then, the card will be printed immediately for the user.
The Minister also said that FEC also approved a memo proposing the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual SIM cards.
The system, he noted, would consolidate the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage.