Nigeria launches national eID Card: A Misplaced Priorities or Welcome Development?
Goodluck Jonathan received the first electronic card which can also be used to make electronic payments.
MasterCard is providing the prepaid payment element and it hopes millions of Nigerians without bank accounts will now gain access to financial services.
An attempt to introduce national ID cards in Nigeria 10 years ago failed. This is about the 3rd attempt. Not a misplaced priority as other Nigerians has suggested. This is welcome development. We are definitely moving in the right direction. Go get your national identity card.
Analysts blame corruption for its failure, and say the same problems may stymie the new e-ID scheme.
"It breaks down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion - proof of identity," MasterCard's Daniel Monehin said in a statement.
The new cards show a person's photograph, name, age and unique ID number - and a fingerprints and an eyes are scanned during enrolment. This is an added security in case your card was stolen.
These details are also intended to ensure that there are no duplicates on the system.
During the pilot phase, which began registering names last October, 13 million MasterCard-branded ID cards will be issued.
There are enrolment centres in all 36 states and there is no fee to get the card, though people will be charged in the event that it needs to be replaced.