Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made the announcement in Abuja.
According to the Minister, commercial banks can issue dual-purpose debit cards that serve as both national identification cards and debit cards at no additional cost.
This decision was based on a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) granting permission for banks to print such cards.
While the NIMC Act of 2007 only requires Nigerians to possess a National Identity Number (NIN) and not a physical card, there has been an increasing demand for cards.
Many citizens, particularly those in rural areas, have been regularly visiting NIMC offices to express their concerns.
Despite the introduction of a Smart ID card by NIMC last year, which can be obtained through the NIMC app, the Minister acknowledged the challenges faced by rural communities in accessing this digital option.
Moreover, the distribution of the dual-purpose cards ensures that citizen privacy and confidentiality are upheld, as outlined in a non-disclosure agreement between NIMC and the central bank.
To obtain the card, individuals can submit an online application to NIMC through their bank, utilizing the bank’s database.
“When they verify and confirm that your record in the database is in alignment with your record in the NIMC database, it will be permitted, and the card is going to be printed for you immediately,” the Minister said