FG unveils plans to Launch a General multipurpose Identity Card Called Afrigo

The plan to launch a robust national domestic card scheme dubbed AfriGO has been proudly unveiled by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS). This card offers an innovative identity solution with payment functionality.

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Afrigo card unveiled

AfriGO, a strong nationally domestic card scheme, powers the enhanced National ID card which comes with identity verification features that are in accordance with the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 underpinning it and mandating NIMC to register and issue all Nigerians and legal residents with a General Multipurpose card (GMPC).

This innovative card is designed to cater for the rapidly rising demand for physical identification, offering users an opportunity to confirm their identities, avail themselves of critical government and private welfare provisions, promote inclusion into the financial mainstream for marginalized Nigerians, give power to citizens as well as encourage their active participation in national development efforts.

The eligibility criteria for this card will be based on possession of National Identification Number (NIN) by registered citizens and legal residents. It is also going to comply with ICAO standards in order that it could be produced meticulously as the country’s primary national identity card. This includes its own identity features whereby owners can easily use them either as debit or prepaid cards by linking them up with any bank accounts they prefer.

This dual feature ensures that those who qualify, especially the unbanked ones, can participate in various government intervention programs simultaneously hereby.

National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is committed to protecting cardholders’ data and observing globally acceptable standards of data security protocols that guarantee privacy and confidentiality of customers’ information while serving public interest.

Reasons Behind the Release of the Afrigo Card Scheme

Financial Inclusion: AfriGo goes a long way in helping CBN achieve its goal of financial inclusion by fostering accessibility to financial services across Nigeria.

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Foreign Exchange Reserves Management: On the other hand, the Afrigo card is expected to ease the pressure on foreign exchange reserves particularly in transactions outside Nigeria that benefits students, businesses as well as consumers.

Cost Efficiency: Consequently, Afrigo will conducts most of its transactions using local currency thereby reducing operational cost for the financial institutions involved hence saving them from any currency fluctuations.

Data Sovereignty: Processing financial transactions is one way that financial institutions create useful information. In Nigeria, two of the leading players in the card space are foreign-owned, and in a data-driven world, CBN wants to have data control.Afrigo supports data sovereignty which implies that Nigerian financial information should remain within national boundaries improving security and regulatory oversight.

Features of Afrigo card Scheme

  • Presence of machine readable zone (MRZ) in accordance with ICAO for e-passport information.
  • Identity card Issue Date and document number which are compliant to ICAO Standards.
  • There are also additional features like travel, health insurance details, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, energy subsidies among others.
  • A Nigerian quick response code (NQR) that contains the national identification number.
  • Biometric authentication as a primary medium for verifying identity by fingerprint or pictures through a chip data on the card.
  • Offline capability allows transactions in areas where there is poor network coverage or no infrastructure connectivity at all.
  • Debit and prepaid card functionality serving both banked and unbanked individuals.

Requests for cards by eligible citizens and legal residents will be facilitated online, commercial banks, various participating agencies or agents, and NIMC offices nationwide.

Economic Impact of Afrigo Card

This integration between Afrigo Card and E-Naira will improve anti-fraud measures, transaction security, weakens foreign exchange demand while promoting local alliances and offerings to advance Nigeria’s economy further.

“The Afrigo card scheme will open avenues for integrating the informal economy; reducing shadow banking; embracing more Nigerians into formal financial services while fostering innovation, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness”, said Former CBN Governor.

First posted on NIMC official website!!


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