Nigerian national ID program : an ambitious initiative


​​​The new Nigerian national eID card
Last updated 14 May 2017

Starting the largest and broadest financial inclusion program on the African continent

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 approximately 174 million inhabitants, the largest in Africa.  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 standars
  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, 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.​ 

Security expertise

Trüb, now part of Gemalto, has been selected as a supplier for Nigeria's new multi-purpose eID card​. In this project, Trüb is wor​king in cooperation with its local partner Auspoint Limited.

The new electronic polycarbonate do​cuments 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 ID card is equipped with a microprocessor for the storage of personal and biometric data (fingerprints) of the card holder 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 eID and eGov digital dividends.