The Nigerian Federal Government on Thursday, August 13, made an official statement that it is dumping the current plastic national identity card and will be replaced with a digital national identification card.
The minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the disclosure to the press after the committee on citizen data management and harmonization held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Daily Trust reported.
Aregbesola, who also chairs the committee, said that the card is no more the focus, adding that the important thing is the National Identity Number (NIN).
The minister said the digital process will be to be domiciled in the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Similarly, the minister of communications and digital economy, Ali Pantami who was at the present at the press briefing, stated that the world had gone digital and stopped focusing on the production of cards.
He said ”What the chairman is saying now is that we’re no more talking about cards, the world has gone digital. So, that card is no more,”
”Our priority now is digital identity, it will be attached to your database wherever you are.”Now, our focus is no longer on producing cards, that card is only for record but what is important is that the digital ID and if you notice we’ve started using the digital ID on the international passport.
”Once you have the digital ID but not the card, we are 100% done with you,” the minister said.
Opting for digital means of identification really sounds great, however, Nigerians are concern whether this will be done for free giving that a lot of people already enrolled for the plastic ID card over 5 years and still hasn’t received it.
Meanwhile, in an earlier report, the comptroller_general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede has said that they will be reciprocating travel bans and restrictions on Nigeria by any country.
Babandede who said this in reaction to the inclusion of Nigeria by the United States to its list of countries with visa restrictions, told TheSignature50 magazine that Nigeria also has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts entry from.
The Immigration CG said; ”I can tell you that US is a country, it is a nation like Nigeria. They have the right to restrict who will enter their territory or not just like we can restrict US citizen or whomsoever from entering Nigeria.
”So they have the right, but I want people to know that Visa restriction is not a Visa ban, it’s a ban for people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.
”You’re aware that President Muhammadu Buhari just launched a new visa policy for Nigeria, the visa policy has 79 classes of visa. So, we will be in a position to say to countries, if you allow us for short visits we will allow you for short visits and if you stop us from other visits, we do the same, because the new visa policy is based on reciprocity.
”So, we will test this for a year and see those who reciprocate and we take actions for those who do otherwise.
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