The Federal Government has decided to gradually de-emphasise use of plastic national identity cards in favour of digital system in which the identity numbers of Nigerians can serve for all purposes.
By this, Nigerians only need to quote their national identity numbers for purposes of recognition where and when necessary without necessarily carrying about the plastic cards issued to them.
This emerged on Thursday during a presentation of report of the Committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation to President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Chairman of the Committee and Minister of the Interior, Rauf
Aregbesola, explained to journalists afterwards that “the card is just for convenience the real thing is the number you have, with that number you are on the databank, everything about you is there.
“We are just upgrading it such that your DNA too will be there very soon. Even if you are in a car, I will know if you are the one in the car with your DNA, it’s already captured. You are already captured, you cannot run away anymore.”
Minister of Communications and Digital Communications, Isa Pantami, who is a member of the Committee, further clarified that the database of registered Nigerians, which is in the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), is being linked to relevant agencies to ensure seamless access to citizens information when required.
His words: “What the chairman is saying now is that we are no more talking about cards, the world has gone digital, so that card is no more.
“Our priority now is digital ID, it will be attached to your database wherever you are. So if you can memorize it by heart, wherever you go, the central database domiciled with NIMC will be able to provide the number and every of your data will be provided.
“Now, our focus is no longer on producing cards, that card is only for the records; but what is important is the digital ID. If you notice, we have started using the digital ID on international passports. Once you have the digital ID but not the card, we are 100 percent done with you.”