The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is making a strong case for the use of the new national electronic identity card (e-ID) as a valid travelling document for Nigerians going outside the country.
Already, the new National e-ID card issued to Nigerians by the NIMC is a bonafide Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD), recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
According to the Head, Card Management Services of NIMC, Mr. Tunji Durodola, given the features present in the current e-ID card, there is nothing stopping it from being deployed for other travelling purposes by Nigerians as an alternative to the international passport.
He said one of the 13 applets imbedded in the JCOP chip on the ID card has similar content usually found in Nigeria’s e-passport and is known as ICAO Applet, so it could easily be used as a travelling document subject to approval of the international community.
But for other countries to recognise the use of the National e-ID card for cross-border travel, its usage must be included in a bilateral agreement among countries that partner with Nigeria and this agreement must be recognised by the countries’ immigration and border control agencies, and such countries must have inspection devices that can read the cards, which most nations currently have.
For this to work, NIMC, Aviation Ministry, Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria Immigration Service must have to sit down and agree on the process. Also, it is not certain if countries would be willing to work with Nigeria, which seems to be ahead of many other nations on the e-ID card programme. NIMC is confident that with time, the international community will build confidence in the authenticity of the card and the robust security features built into it.
Source : SunOnline