The Nigerian government has announced that its citizens can now ask their banks to issue them a debit card that doubles as their national identity card at no extra cost.

Communications minister Isa Pantami announced this on Wednesday in Abuja after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council.

He explained that the approval followed a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards that double as national identity cards.

How Does It Work?

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

According to the minister, 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.

He added, “To make it easier, NIMC last year, we introduced a smart ID card you can download from the NIMC app. It is just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”

To ease the difficulty, NIMC had partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria “so that citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks.”

According to him, the bank is permitted to print the card along with either a Mastercard or Visa card.

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

So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple-purpose where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card.

(NAN)

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