The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said that the long awaited New National Identity Card would soon be launched.
The Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Anthony Okwudiafor, who confirmed this said the Card would be formally launched by President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, the launching would be an important development and would usher in the formal and comprehensive identification of Nigerians and legal residents with the e-ID with embedded National Identification Number (NIN).
However, Okwudiafor explained that part of the reasons why the launch of the New National e-Identity card was delayed was to allow Nigerians distinguish, understand and appreciate the difference between the National Identification Number and the National ID Cards.
“Part of the reasons why we delayed the roll out of the cards is because we deliberately meant to separate and distinguish between the National Identification Number (NIN) which is a person’s identity in the strict sense of the Universal Identification Infrastructure and the National ID-Cards which will carry the National Identification Number”, the Director also explained
Okwudiafor said while the Commission worked on addressing the cynicisms which followed the past national identity card projects, research findings showed that there was need to distinguish between the NIN and the New ID Card in the minds of Nigerians.
He remarked that the Commission therefore delayed the Card launch in order to allow Nigerians know that the unique identifier is not the card which can always be replaced when it is lost, but the NIN, which would always remain the same, even when the card is lost and replaced.
“With the planned introduction of the long awaited card, the era of proliferation of identity card and biometrics data would come to an end,” Okwudiafor said.
He added that the Commission has also introduced a new TV commercial shortly after sponsoring a weekly TV Drama which is aired every Sunday at 6:30 pm to sensitise Nigerians on the importance and need of the National Identity Management System (NIMS).
Recently the NIMC announced a successful issuance and testing of the card which would serve both as a payment card and travel document aside from being an electronic identity card.
As an electronic identity card it would enable an individual perform other functions under the harmonised National Identity Database which was recently ordered to be populated by the President in October, 2013.