The new Nigerian national eID card

Broadest financial inclusion program in Africa

The new Nigerian national ID card​ was launched on 28 August 2014 by President Jonathan Goodluck. 

Nigeria is often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its population with over 200 million inhabitants at the end of 2019, the largest in Africa.  

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

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

The new secure document is providing an 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 micro-controller 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 on-boarding procedures known as KYC (Know Your Customer).
  4. ​Biometric eID - The card contains 10 fingerprints captured during the registration procedure. The card supports biometric identification​ through the use of fingerprinting. It uses the “match on card” method, which involves making a fingerprint comparison on the card rather than on 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 tool for payments or can be used at ATMs or for transfers.  It will offer millions of Nigerians – the majority of whom have never had access to a banking service – with the security, convenience, and reliability of electronic payments with 13 applications, including MasterCard's prepaid payment technology. 

​In a second phase, complementary applications such as a drivers' license or e-services including eVoting, eHealth or eTr​ansport​ are to be implemented.​ 

Over 30 million Nigerian ID cards issued 

According to the National press, 37m Nigerians are registered as of October 2019. 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.

*“From the 1st of July 2015 any government agency/institution, bank, insurance company and all other institutions offering services and or are involved in transactions requiring the identity of an individual as contained in section 27 of the Act, and who so transacts without demanding or using the NIN as contemplated hereunder, has committed an offense under the Act .”


Needless to say that the registration of an additional 100m Nigerians in the next three years is an incredible challenge.

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

World Bank grant of $433 million for NIMC

Nigeria dominated the identity agenda this summer of 2019. According to Leadership of September 2019, the World Bank is to inject $433 million to boost Nigerians enrolment.

The World Bank validated the business model adopted by NIMC. It is supporting enrollment, NIN, and digital ID programs. The Agence Française de Dévelopement and the European Union, are also contributing to Nigeria’s Digital Identity Ecosystem.

Security expertise

Thales has been selected as a supplier for Nigeria's new multi-purpose eID card​. In this project, Thales is working in cooperation 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 for the storage of personal and biometric data (fingerprints) of the cardholder as well as keys, certificates and other data for the various eServices and applications. 

Digital dividends for a more inclusive society

This ambitious program is aiming at fostering 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 in August 2016 a dossier on the effects of ID technology on society.