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A recent poll released by NOIPolls has shown that about 8 in 10 Nigerians are in support of a new identification (ID) card scheme. Of those polled in the research, 60 percent implied that the ID cards will serve as a means of identification and proof of citizenship. The results also revealed that about 58% of Nigerians are unaware of the new ID card scheme, thus reflecting the need for increased publicity on the procedures and benefits of obtaining a new national ID card, especially with regard to its implications for security, immigration and financial transactions. Following the approval by the Federal Government for new identity cards, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) partnered with MasterCard Incorporated recently for the purpose of rolling out new national ID cards to citizens across the country. Features of the new ID card include 13 applications, including integration of MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology, which will enhance the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy. The new ID card would also double as a form of electronic payment solution, which would further enhance security and reliability of e-payment systems through the unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) for card-holders. Earlier in 2013, NIMC and MasterCard issued 13 million MasterCard-branded national ID cards with e-payment capability. Nigerians experienced series of challenges with regard to obtaining national ID cards in the past, which was one of the reasons the Federal Government reintroduced new ones.

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This article was first published on 18th September 2013 and updated on September 25th, 2013 at 10:51 pm

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