After the important 11-digit NIN has been obtained by an individual, a card comes next as an additional token. The National Electronic Identity Card (e-ID card) is a chip based card with multiple functions. As mentioned earlier, the card is a token given upon successful enrolment or registration into the National Identity System.

 Persons Eligible for the National e-ID Card

Unlike the National Identification Number (NIN) which is assignable to all Nigerians and Legal Residents without any age restrictions, the National e-ID Card can only be issued to Nigerians registered into the National Identity System and Legal Residents who have attained the age of 16 years and above.

It is important to note that the 11-digit National Identification Number (NIN) is not the same thing as the National e-ID Card which is a physical token.

  • The NIN can be used on its own for digital identity verification without the e-ID card.
  • The e-ID card cannot be used on its own for digital identity verification without the NIN first being stored within its chip.
  • The number printed on the e-ID card is not the NIN but the PAN (Primary Account Number) used for accessing the card’s payment feature once activated.

More About the NIN >>

NIN in Simple Images >>

Functions of the New National e-ID Card

The e-ID card has provisions for 13 applets out of which five (5) is activated at the point of
collecting the card.

The five (5) active applets are:

  • Electronic Identity Information (e-ID)
  • EMV Payment
  • Verification – Match-on-Card
  • Security – Electronic Public Key Infrastructure (ePKI)
  • Travel – International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The remaining eight (8) applets will be implemented in subsequent phases. These are:

  • e-Health Application
  • e-Pension Application
  • e-Voting Application
  • e-Taxation Application
  • e-Drivers’ License Application
  • e-Transport Application
  • e-SIM Application
  • e-Insurance Application

The applets are designed to facilitate interactions of individuals with Government and with Institutions using the National e-ID Card to be able to assess wide range of services. The card is smart and trendy with relevant security features to forestall fraudulent activities.

Breakdown of Printed Data on the National e-ID Card

The Five Active Functions of the National e-ID Card

  1. Electronic Identity (e-ID)
    This is the simplest but major function of the National e-ID Card as it contains key information of the applicant or Card holder recorded in the Database. Information such as the National Identification Number (NIN), the Cardholder/applicant’s address, name and other details are stored here and securely locked away and can ONLY be read by authorised terminals or Card Acceptance Devices (CADs). An agency will require a special reader approved by NIMC in order to read the contents of the Card in order to ensure that confidential information not displayed on the face of the card is safe. This unique function is key to validating the applicant’s National Identification Number (NIN) and offers the National e-ID as a strong tool for institutions offering services to their customers like the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) tool for banks and other financial institutions.
  2. Payment – Europay MasterCard & Visa (EMV)
    This payment Function enables the National e-ID Card to be used as a tool for making payments for goods and services in any part of the world. A great number of Nigerians do not have access to financial services, but with the new e-ID Card, money can be transferred, paid into or loaded into an individual’s e-ID Card. All that the cardholder needs to do is to visit one of the participating banks (such as UBA) and load money on the card or have someone transfer money to the Card using any of the available payment platforms/options. For example (from a bank account to the Card, Quickteller transfer, POS terminals, ATM) etc.
    The card can also be used to pay for goods and services such as utility bills like DSTV, GOTV, Startimes, flight tickets, Water bill, PHCN and so on and in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) all over the world where any of the payment processors (such as Mastercard) is displayed.
  3. Match-on-Card (MoC)
    The card has your 10 fingerprints taken at the point of registration in to the National Identity Database safely stored away on it. No unauthorised person can access them. The Match-on Card (MoC) is the most secure technology to authenticate a person. A secure terminal or a Card Acceptance Device (CAD) is used to match a specific fingerprint against that locked away on the National e-ID Card. Too many attempts, and the applet is blocked for security reasons. That way, an agency or authorised person can be sure that the person presenting the Card is the true owner. It is no different from what is currently done with the
    International Passport.
  4. Electronic Public Key Infrastructure (ePKI) – Security
    This function facilitates secure communication between persons, users and devices. ePKI as it is called helps in building trust for transactions as well as ensuring confidentiality of business transactions such as e-commerce, internet banking and business emails. With the ePKI function on the National e-ID Card, electronic signature can be duly applied to sign binding contracts, applications, documents, online identification and at vending/ATM machines.
  5. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) – Travel
    The National e-ID Card is also a travel document and conforms to such standards as the ICAO just like the International Passport. This function on the Card provides future functionality for anyone who may wish to embark on cross border migration such as regional travel within West Africa and or other consenting Countries where a visa is not required.

Other Functions of the National e-ID Card

As stated earlier, there are other eight (8) functions the National e-ID Card can perform which is being implemented in phases. They are:

  1. e-Health Application
    The eHealth function on the national e-ID Card in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) can be used by Card Holders to administer their health insurance schemes. There are many possible use cases but a few will include storing a special code containing the card-holder’s health status such as Blood type & Group, Genotype, Allergies and much more. This function can also provide a Health Insurance code for Cardholders local day-to-day living within Nigeria and a Health Insurance cover for International Travel.
  2. e-Pension Application
    The Pension applet in collaboration with PENCOM would enable card holders manage their retirement savings accounts more efficiently. The national e-ID card would be tied to the card holder’s Pension number so that card holders would be able to check their balance and basically administer their accounts. These can all be written to and read from using very secure terminals and devices.
  3. e-Voting Application
    The Voter ID Function on the National e-ID Card would enable it serve as the Card Holder’s voter card. During elections, card holders would be able to cast their votes by inserting their National e-ID Card into specially designed POS-like card reading devices with the appropriate digital certificates installed. The digital certificates along with the devices and the biometric feature would facilitate the verification of the card holder’s information before they are allowed to cast a vote.
  4. e-Taxation Application
    The Tax applet in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will enable the national e-ID card serve as a self-service payment channel through which card holders can meet their tax obligations with ease from the comfort of their homes and offices. The card would be tied to the card holders FIRS Tax Identification Number (TIN) and can be used to verify payments immediately as tax payers will be able to print e-receipts upon conclusion of the transaction.
  5. e-Drivers’ License Application
    In collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), details on the National drivers ‘Licence can be accessed by inserting the National e-ID Card into a POS-like card reading device with the appropriate digital certificate. FRSC being the agency responsible for the issuance of drivers’ licenses in Nigeria would be the lead to give NIMC directions as to what data they would require to be on the chip.
  6. e-Transport Application
    The Transport applet in collaboration with the appropriate transport authorities depending on location would enable card holders use their National e-ID cards as travel cards in the sense that they can load credits/units onto their cards in order to pay for the use of public transport. NIMC will partner with any road transport, air or rail agency to develop a workable framework for integrating the NIN with their own Database.
  7. e-SIM Application
    The Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) function is identical to the SIM technology used in mobile-phone systems. It is an integrated circuit that securely stores the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and the related key used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices. This function would give the National e-ID Card
    access to a wireless network to enable it perform a variety of functions like wireless data transfer and wireless renewal of travel documents, All holders of active SIM Card Numbers are required to register their details and submit biometrics before the line(s) is/are activated.
  8. e-Insurance Application
    The Insurance function on the National e-ID Card in collaboration with National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) can be used by card holders to administer their insurance policies, renew their insurance scheme, determine how long their insurance is still valid for, etc.