FG instructs banks to provide multipurpose NIN card to Nigerians

FG instructs banks to provide multipurpose NIN card to Nigerians

The federal government of Nigeria has directed commercial banks and other financial institutions to issue new debit cards to customers with National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The multipurpose card will serve as both a national identity card and a bank card, allowing Nigerians to withdraw money from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and carry out financial transactions seamlessly.

The directive was announced on Wednesday by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, during a press briefing after the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, in a bid to streamline identification processes and enhance financial inclusion.

Minister Pantami explained that the approval was based on a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) permitting banks to print multipurpose debit cards that would also function as national identity cards. This initiative aims to address the increasing demand for physical cards, especially from citizens residing in rural communities who face difficulties accessing the digital smart ID cards introduced by NIMC.

Pantami highlighted that while the NIMC Act 2007 only mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number, not necessarily a printout card, many citizens have expressed the need for a physical card. To meet this demand, NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable interested citizens to obtain a multipurpose card at their respective banks.

The multipurpose card will feature the individual’s national identity details and will also function as a bank card, either as a Mastercard, Visa, or any other type of card. The card issuance will not incur additional costs for citizens, and they can apply for the card at their banks, specifying their preference for a multipurpose card.

To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants, NIMC and CBN have signed a nondisclosure agreement. This agreement guarantees the protection of individuals’ personal information during the card application process. Banks will verify the applicants’ details with the NIMC database, and upon confirmation, the card will be printed immediately.

The Minister revealed that the FEC has approved the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards. This system will streamline the NIN-SIM linkage process and improve the overall implementation of the policy.

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