By Jacinta Nwachukwu
Mr Aliyu Aziz, Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has advised Nigerians to focus on getting the National Identification Number (NIN) rather than clamouring for the e-ID card.
Aziz gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, saying that the commission’s main focus was providing identity to all Nigerians.
“Let us focus on providing identity to all Nigerians rather than talking about few people that have cards.
“Please let us focus on the National Identification Number, because we are living in the digital era and all you need is your digital ID.
“We are in digital economy era, as you know that now you can transfer money to someone without writing any cheque.
“You can also load your mobile phone without having a scratch card. So we live in a digital economy.
“Therefore, the national identification number, that is the 11 digits that is generated and given to you, is more important than any other token that you talk about.’’
He said that “there is nothing like `temporary or permanent’ in the language of NIMC as the NIN slip has the unique identification number.
“What we issue you at the beginning of a transaction is slip; that is, before your NIN is generated; and then we issue you a NIN slip whereby you will see your national identification number written.
“Although by law we are to provide a general multi-purpose card, which is a card that has applet that you can use for driving, payment and identification among others.
“And the card that we have is 80 kilobytes card while your ordinary ATM card is just four kilobytes.
So, that means that the card is 20 times bigger than an ordinary ATM card.
“So if you’re buying ATM card at N1,000, so how much do we spend to get that card; We spend close to N3,000 to produce that card (e-ID card).
According to him, the commission has the approval of the Federal Government to ensure the sustainability of the system.
He also said that it is the first issuance of the NIN slip and the e-ID card that is free.
“If you come back for the NIN slip to be reprinted you will pay us N500, if you come back for the card to be reprinted again you pay for the cost of the card.
“It is not a new policy. So I want the public to focus on the NIN,” he reiterated.
The director-general, however, said that so far the commission had enrolled 38 million Nigerians out of the 200 million estimated Nigeria population.(NAN)