• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

77% of Nigerians not willing to pay for national ID renewal – NOIPolls

National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)

A new public opinion survey released by NOIPolls, a country-specific polling service, has revealed that 77 percent of Nigerians interviewed are not willing to pay N3,000 for renewal of the national identity card mainly because it is too expensive.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) through its official twitter handle on Monday, October 14, 2019, announced that the renewal of the National Identity Card would cost N3,000 while card replacement would cost N5,000.

But 80 percent of Nigerians are of the view that the national identity card should not have an expiration date, and they believe the card should be free of charge, according to the report released Thursday.

“Nonetheless, 96 percent of Nigerians mentioned that they acknowledged the need and importance of having a national identity and this assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-group,” NOIPolls said.

Findings from the poll revealed that 78 percent of the respondents (18 years and above) said that they have applied to obtain the national identity card. 65 percent of the number claimed to have a temporary card, while 26 percent specified that they have obtained the permanent card, though most of the respondents in this category had to wait for a long time before getting the permanent version, sometimes above one year.

Nigeria’s current population is estimated by the United Nations (UN) to be around 201 million people, and checks by BusinessDay revealed that Africa’s most populous nation has about 164 million of its citizens without any formal means of identification.

Lanre Osibona, senior special adviser to the president on information, communication, and technology, said over 37 million Nigerians have been registered under the National Identity Number (NIN).

Commenting on the issues of identification, Uzoma Dozie, the last group managing director of Diamond Bank and founder/CEO of Sparkle, a mobile-first platform, said the lack of identity resulting from the low collaboration between various institutions in Nigeria is the reason for country’s high financial exclusion rate.

“To spur financial inclusion, one of the major requirements is identity. India was able to solve its financial inclusion problem through the introduction of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) system, which is used as a means of identity, and through that people could open bank accounts,” Dozie told BusinessDay.

As part of the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) procedures as implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks (DMB) are required by the regulator to obtain identification documents before opening an account for their customers.
“I went to open a bank account and they asked for my national identity card; it made me shy because people were looking at me for not having anything to show. So now I want to register because even if I don’t want to open an account again, I need the ID card to receive the money my sister will send to me from the US,” Ofure Imafidon, a bank customer, lamented.

In terms of improving the process involved in registration and collection of the national identity, a larger proportion of Nigerians from the poll by NOIPolls recommended that more registration centres should be created, collection of the permanent card should be immediately after registration, and 7 percent advised that the collection centres be decentralised.

“Given the above recommendations by Nigerians, it is imperative that the NIMC and all stakeholders involved in the registration and collection exercise act swiftly to improve the overall process, by reducing the waiting time for the collection of permanent Identity cards as well issues bordering the new national identity card expiration policy,” NOIPolls said.

ENDURANCE OKAFOR