Lagos - President Goodluck Jonathan has received his National eID card, heralding the official launch of the eID pilot programme.
The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will issue MasterCard-branded identity cards with electronic payments functionality to 13 million Nigerians.
Upon completion of the pilot program, NIMC plans to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria's 167 million citizens.
This initiative is the largest rollout of a biometric-based verification card with an electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa.
Also read: Jonathan signs off eID card
With 13 applications, including MasterCard's prepaid payment technology and Cryptovision's biometric identification technology, the eID card will provide millions of Nigerians - the majority of whom have never had access to a banking product - with the security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments.
At a celebratory event held in Abuja, Jonathan said, "I am happy that this important milestone of the rollout of the National Identity Management System has been realized today. I am impressed with the quality of the eID card and the work of the corporate partners that made it possible. I commend especially MasterCard, and Access Bank Plc, as well as the Commission [NIMC] for achieving a world-class product."
Chris Onyemenam, Director General and CEO of NIMC said the national eID program enables us to create an optimized common platform for Nigerian citizens to easily interact with the various government agencies and to transact electronically.
"There are many use cases for the card, including the potential to use it as an international travel document, which will have significant implications for border control in Nigeria and West Africa," he said.
Through the collaborative efforts of NIMC (the project lead), MasterCard (payments technology provider), Unified Payment Services Limited (payments processor), Cryptovision (Public Key Infrastructure and Trust Services Provider), and pilot issuing banks including Access Bank Plc, 13 million Nigerians will gain access to state-of-art financial services as part of the pilot programme.
"This is a memorable occasion for MasterCard as we witness the start of a financial inclusion program that is unprecedented in scale and scope. Combining an identity card with MasterCard's prepaid payment capability
creates a game changer as it breaks down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion - proof of identity - while simultaneously enabling Nigerians to access the global economy," said Daniel Monehin, Division President of Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard.
- CAJ News