The Nigerian government has on Wednesday, approved a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) that will allow commercial banks to issue customers with debit cards that double as national identity cards at no extra cost.

RELATED: Pantami to NCC: Link SIM cards to National ID and BVN to checkmate criminals

The government also approved a memo proposing the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual SIM cards.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave the approvals in what will be its last meeting as the country’s highest decision making body. A new government is expected to be sworn in next week Monday 29th of May.

“It is going to be a form of multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either MasterCard, Visa or any other kind of card,” said Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to the media after the meeting.


His words: “The bank is permitted to print the card along with either MasterCard or Visa card. It is going to be a form of multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs on our citizens.

“So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple purpose whereby it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’. Both of them are going to be printed on the same card and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs. So that memo has also been approved by the Federal Executive Council.”

Adding: “NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) so citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks.


“When you apply for the card, the bank will apply online to the NIMC through their database. When they verify and confirm that your record in the database is in alignment with your record in NIMC database, it will be permitted and the card is going to be printed for you immediately.”

Describing the approved NIN-SIM integration memo as a consolidation of the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage, Pantami said the automated system would sanitise the database and ease the process of SIM replacement for Nigerians or legal residents.

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