Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Dr. Chris Onyemenan has promised Nigerians that the Federal Government (FG) will bear the cost of providing the first 50 million national identity cards.
He said this while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos. He added that the cards would be issued free to Nigerians to guarantee the success of the project.
“The first 50 million cards would be free as the Federal Government will pay for them. Most of the projects undertaken for the successful management of the national identity scheme are at the implementation stage. We will issue the national identity number (NIN) that would not only be 11 digits but would be randomly generated to safeguard the identities of Nigerians,” he said.
“The government has released N12billion out of N30billion budgeted for NIMC,” he added.
According to Onyemenan, the cards will be issued to Nigerians to help security check as well as help curtail fraud, the cards will also ascertain nationalities, he added.
He argued that national identity cards does not confer citizenship on foreigners, therefore the card would help to fish out foreigners who snick into the country on time.
Regarding the issue of foreigners residing in Nigeria illegally, Onyemenan said, the cards have many biometric features that can easily sense unseemly practices.
“If a foreigner manipulates the ID card, NIMC would get him because it would ask for certain valuable information that he would not be able to provide answers to,” he added.
Assuring Nigerians of the sophistication of the program, Onyemenan added that the FG was working on integrating the database between the private and public sector.