If you have applied for the National Identity card, then you have a barrel of questions. How long will you wait to get the card, and a dozen other bugging questions. Here we select five of the most asked questions and answered them for you.
1. How long until I get the card?
At least two years. That is the very least and it is an optimistic one. Usually, people wait four to five years. There are people who applied for the ID card in 2012 and haven’t gotten the original plastic card in 2018. The last year to have the ID card issued is 2013.
There are special cases when some persons have reported to have gotten this card within weeks. From our research, this is not the normal first-come, first-served basis route that the commission claim they follow and corners might have been cut to make this possible.
Under normal circumstances, you have to wait three to four years. In fact, people are beginning to have a feeling (which leads to the next question) that they may never have their card.
2. Will I ever get my card?
The answer is maybe. You may or may never get your card. In fact, if the words of the Director of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is the sole indicator, then there will be no card for you. According to Aliyu Aziz in a press conference in April 2018, the card cannot be produced for everyone because it is very expensive as it is incorporated with A MasterCard chip that can enable you load money into it, an ID/Credit card, an endeavour that the country recovering from recession, he said, struggle to afford. There are thirty million identities in NIMC database.
The DG further stressed that the focus of the body is not printing of the card as they are already indebted to the Lagos-based vendors who print the card. “Right now, we are focused on enrolling and harmonizing their identities,” he told newsmen.
3. How useful is the temporary card?
It is useful since it bears your national identity number (NIN). According to the agency, in the absence of the card, the number is the crucial factor in getting registered. DG Aziz cited the United States as an example of a number-based identity for its citizenry where the Social Security Number connects one’s information with all agencies. Also cited as an instance was the United Kingdom where the National Insurance Number is the connecting factor. India equally registered more than one billion citizens and only issued them numbers.
How will this NIN work? Just like the BVN. You can print it, you can have it on your phonebook or diary or memorized. In August 2017, the presidency issued a directive, echoed by the Comptroller General of Immigration that from January 1, 2018, anyone without the NIN will not apply for a Nigerian passport. According to the directive, this is for the purpose of harmonizing the databases across all agencies.
While you are here, see: Just In: NIS Begins Issuance Of New Passport With 10-Year Validity
So the temporary card you have is useful for the number it carries. So far, banks and telecommunication service providers have not fully keyed into this number package.
4. National Identity Card: How do I check if my card is ready?
The National Identity Commission officials have assured all that have registered that a text message will be sent to their phone when the card is ready for pickup. You might have changed your number or you are wary of human errors. No problem, you can check it out online. Visit Touch.nimc.gov.ng, click on “proceed” and fill in your details, first name, last name and your NIM number and press “check now”. If your card is ready, you will receive a confirmation.
You can pick your card from where you registered for it. This is not the only option opened to you as you can fill a form to have your card transferred to you. If you have waited five years for the card then you should be rushing to the park not writing letters.
5. Where can I apply for the ID card?
At your local government area. NIMC has an office in every one of the 774 local government areas in the country. Arm yourself with some form of identity, be it your state of origin identification form, your birth certificate, school-leaving certificate, a letter of introduction from your village head or councillor.
Besides the local offices of the identity management, you can also get registered at selected locations such as malls, schools, marketplaces and places of worship depending on the direction the NIMC in your town or city chose to go. Ask and when you are not sure, get to your local government area headquarters.