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The new Nigerian national eID card

Broadest financial inclusion program in Africa

President Jonathan Goodluck launched the new Nigerian national ID card on 28 August 2014. 

Nigeria is often called the "Giant of Africa," owing to its population of over 221 million inhabitants in June 2023, the largest in Africa.  

UNICEF predicts that births in the country will represent 10% of the world's total births by 2050.

With the new e-ID program, the country is also signaling the broadest financial inclusion program on the continent. 

The new secure document provides official proof of identity to Nigerians 16 years and older.

There's more.


Nigeria national ID card: 5 functions

​The Nigerian ID card acts as a:

  1. National identity card
  2. Travel document based on ICAO standards
  3. Electronic ID - offers strong authentication and digital signature. The microcontroller securely holds the National Identification Number (NIN), the holder's address, name, and other details. This is also a key tool for banks for customer onboarding procedures known as KYC (Know Your Customer).
  4. ​Biometric eID - The card contains ten fingerprints captured during the registration procedure. The card supports biometric identification through the use of fingerprinting. It uses the "match on card" method, comparing fingerprints on the card rather than the reader. As the biometric data never leave the card, the interception of data during transfer to a reader is impossible.
  5. Payment card - The payment application turns the Nigerian national ID card into a payment tool or can be used at ATMs or for transfers. It will offer millions of Nigerians – most of whom have never had access to a banking service – the security, convenience, and reliability of electronic payments with 13 applications, including MasterCard's prepaid payment technology. 

​In the second phase, complementary applications such as a driver's license or e-services, including eVoting, eHealth, or eTr​transport, will be implemented.​ 


Over 100m Nigerians registered as of June 2023.

According to the National Identity Management Commission, over 100 million Nigerians were registered as of February 2023. Over 30m ID cards have been issued.

Managed by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the enrollment, issuance of the NIN (National Identification Number*), and ID card are free of charge.

"The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) assures the public that our enrolment, verification, and identification systems are working effectively as the National Identification Number (NIN) becomes compulsory for all government services. Enrollment and issuance of the NIN are free. Any form of extortion should be reported to – Beware of individuals fraudulently charging for NIN enrollment, especially for students; report such to: or +2348157691011 (WhatsApp only). "



But the new funding from the World Bank will help accelerate those efforts. 


World Bank grant of $433 million for NIMC

According to the Guardian. On 27 May 2020, the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), and the European Union (EU) will inject $433 million to boost Nigerian enrolment.

  • The World Bank validated the business model adopted by NIMC. It supports enrollment, NIN, and digital identity programs.
  • The Agence Française de Dévelopement and the European Union also contribute to Nigeria's Digital Identity Ecosystem.

The loan disbursement implies some conditions not present as of February 2021. In particular, Nigeria needs to implement a data protection law to safeguard its citizens' fundamental rights.

Nigeria has reached a significant milestone with 100 million registrations for the National Identity Card (NIN), as announced by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami.

Despite this success, the nation is racing against time to meet the World Bank's Digital Identification for Development (ID4D) project deadline, with a target of 148 million NIN registrations by June 2024.

NIN for SIM card registration 

Biometric SIM registration is mandatory for all mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria.

Each SIM registration is mapped to the subscriber's NIN, providing a new channel to identify citizens and facilitate credible transactions.

This move is one of the key policy objectives of the Nigerian Government to stimulate the implementation of a Digital Identity Program.

Nigeria stands beside Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, and the UAE with mandatory biometric SIM registration regulation.


Security expertise

Thales has been selected as a supplier for Nigeria's new multi-purpose eID card. In this project, Thales is cooperating with its local partner Auspoint Limited.

The new electronic polycarbonate documents designed by Trüb in Switzerland meet the highest requirements for security and quality. The laser-engraved document also integrates built-in visible and invisible security elements. 

Nigeria's new national computerized card is equipped with a microprocessor to store the cardholder's personal and biometric data (fingerprints) and keys, certificates, and other data for the various eServices and applications. 


Digital Dividends for a more inclusive society

This ambitious program aims to foster inclusive citizenship, more effective governance, and the creation of a cashless economy, all of which will stimulate economic growth, investment, and trade.​

To know more about the potential benefits of such a program, we published a dossier on the effects of ID technology on society.

Discover the 5 trends driving digital ID and beyond.

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