Enterprise Television- Financial Inclusion: NIMC Targets 70 Million Identity Numbers
in its bid to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed the plan to issue identity numbers to 70 million Nigerians by the end of next year.
The Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said that the country which currently holds centralized data for less than 15 per cent of the country’s 200 million population.
This would integrate various identity-capturing and verification systems run by other government departments, banks and mobile-phone companies.
According to Aziz, he revealed that NIMC will play the role of the harmonizer and coordinator of the back-end database, while it allows all the other agencies to have touch points and areas of interaction with the citizens.
He added that the federal government had formed a partnership with Mastercard Inc. to issue identity cards fixed with their payment chips in 2015. There are plans to expand the collaboration by including other payments companies, with the ultimate target of covering all citizens.
Aziz further added that in addition to the facilitation of payments, the identity numbers and the accompanying cards will be used for tax and health insurance administration, voter verification and help keep track of population changes.
Lagos-based Interswitch Limited, which issues Verve debit and credit cards, is at an advanced stage of linking its payments with the national identity database, while United Bank for Africa Plc. is working on a pilot. Citizens will be able to make their choice of payment companies during acceptance.
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