The new national identity card can be used as Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card anywhere there is MasterCard logo in the world, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said.
NIMC’s Director of Technical Services, Mr Emmanuel Ogungbe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the commission had already signed an agreement with MasterCard.
“As opposed to just being an ID card, the card is also a cash card. What that means is you can also use it the way you currently use your ATM card.
“So if you put money on the card, you can withdraw this money anywhere in the world that MasterCard right now is accepted.
“Two, it’s also a travel card. What that means is that very soon, especially within the West African sub-region, you can travel passport-free as long as you have this card with you.
“So this card has multi-purpose use and that is why we are calling it a general-multi-purpose card, it’s not just an ID card”.
According to him, all that a holder of the card needs to do is to present it at the point of entry of any country where it will be swiped.
He said the information about the person, similar to the ones on passport, would come out and the country would allow entry.
Ogungbe said that the new card was error-proof and would enhance the security of the country.
“We have a system called automated biometrics identification system in our data centre that checks information of newly registered people coming into the database against what we already have in the database.
“If there is a hit, that means that person was registered before and of course this means we will deny new registration.
“So, there is no way of beating that system for now; I’m very confident of that. That will ensure that you can only register once.
“What the bad elements do is to hide in a way that you won’t be able to capture them. But we are saying with this (ID) we know who they are and we will be able to very easily locate them,’’ he said.
According to him, if there is a crime and the police are able to lift finger prints from the crime scene and send to NIMC, the commission will be able to give the full details of the criminals.
He also said that the card would reduce incidences of bank frauds as fraudsters would be easily detected and apprehended.
“Talk about even fraud in the banks, where someone will obtain a loan in a particular bank, move on to the next bank without servicing the previous loan to obtain another loan; that will become a thing of the past.
“Because once the bank takes your national identification number, it can see all your various transactions, all various businesses that you have with all the other banks”.
He said that government had asked the commission to “register every single Nigerian and legal residents” but warned the aliens against any attempt to use the card to commit crimes.
“If you are an alien and you think you can continue doing that and go scot-free, then the person’s time is numbered because very soon, we will get to him or her,” he said. (NAN)