FG instructs banks to integrate NIN and ATM cards

The Federal Government has instructed all commercial banks to issue Nigerians a debit card that doubles as their national identity card at no extra cost.

Communications Minister Isa Pantami after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday in Abuja explained that the approval followed a memo from the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards that serves as national identity cards.

“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”, Mr. Pantami stated.

He explained that 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.

“But many citizens, particularly those living in rural communities, always go to NIMC offices complaining that they need the card at hand, even though it’s optional”, the communications minister explained.

He added that NIMC last year introduced a smart ID card that can be downloaded from the NIMC app to make things easier for people living in rural communities

Pantami said 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 who are 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.

He added that when you apply for a card at the bank, you can indicate that you want the card to be multiple-purpose where it will serve as the bank card and also the national identity card.

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