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FG approves NIN, debit card merger

Nigerians can now request their commercial banks to provide them with a debit card which doubles as their National Identity Card at no extra cost than the normal fees charged for debit cards.

This is as the Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved a memo from the National Identity Management Commission allowing banks to print debit cards that double as National identity cards.

“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,” the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, told State House Correspondents after Wednesday’s valedictory meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Aso Rock Villa.

Pantami said although the NIMC Act 2007 only mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number and not necessarily a printout card, demands for cards have swelled nonetheless.

He explained that “As in the NIMC Act 2007, section 27, what is mandatory for our citizens and legal residents is the acquiring of the National Identity Number, not the card. However, the card is optional.

“But many citizens, particularly those living in rural communities, always go to NIMC offices complaining that they need the card at hand, even though it’s optional.

“To make it easier, NIMC last year, introduced a smart ID card you can download from the NIMC app. It is just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”

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