The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company is one of the two local firms selected by the Federal Government for the printing of the nation’s multipurpose identity card.
The Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, said NIMC had also set a target of 24 months for the manufacture of the cards.
Onyemenam said the Memorandum of Understanding recently signed with MasterCard was meant to feature the international payment card on the identity card as a payment solution and not for the production of the cards.
The NIMC boss said after the pilot phase, which will involve the production of 13 million cards, other payment solutions could be included in the cards.
He said, “We have only taken advantage of the security that has been created in the National Identity Management System to include a payment solution. We have only used the security and the safety provided by the National Identity Management System to enhance the implements of the electronic payment industry.
“The warehousing of our data is still our responsibility. The processing of the data is done between us and local companies in Nigeria through the financial institutions. It is a partnership between NIMC and the financial institutions licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and MasterCard, and the processor that is also licensed by the CBN.
“MasterCard is just a payment solution. It is a payment platform that we all know. And this is a pilot for 13 million cards. We are not 13 million Nigerians. This is just a pilot. When we are through with it, we can accommodate other payment platforms.”
Onyemenam added, “The card itself is not something anybody can buy from the shelf. You cannot just walk to a shop and say give me this card. I know that there are so many cards that are being imported into the country from China and elsewhere, but this is a special card designed like any other national identity card for Nigeria.
“It was designed by my staff. The chips on the card have benefited our experience as well. Now, we cannot manufacture it; we don’t manufacture cards in Nigeria. But we have plans to make sure that within 18 to 24 months, it will be manufactured here. We believe in local content.
“We have two major producers. And it is not right for me to start talking about them because it is a security matter. The security features on the cards are copyrighted for NIMC.”
In a statement issued by MasterCard and made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, the company said the project was the largest roll out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.http://www.punchng.com
May 15, 2013 by Everest Amaefule, Abuja