Nigerian government to start production of ECOWAS biometric ID card

The Nigerian government is preparing to launch the production of biometric identity cards for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in partnership with the Commission for the Regulation of Infrastructure Design (ICRC).

Interior Minister Abdulraham Dambazau said this when signing the agreement for the production of the cards with the ICRC in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the production of the identity card to replace the ECOWAS certificate in January.

The production will be carried out by a Nigerian security production company, Euphera, but will be financed by the private sector.

Mr Dambazau said the deal will last 10 years. Thirteen million biometric cards are expected to be produced during this period at a cost of over 14 billion naira.

“The identity card will offer protection against identity theft, abolish trade restrictions and strengthen harmonization between countries,” he said.

“The features of the card are photographs, fingerprints and other details that can be verified instantly at points of entry,” he said.

He said the ECOWAS certificate will be a thing of the past as soon as possible. He said the production requires constant monitoring and evaluation.

For his part, ICRC CEO Chidi Izuwah said the production of identity cards will improve the database and the capacity to manage migration in the sub-region.

“It’s important for the movement of people. It will be financed by the private sector but will be beneficial for the government, ”he said.

He said it would also benefit security and also create jobs in the country’s IT base.

Mr. Izuwah said the ICRC would take care of the contract while the Interior Ministry and the Nigerian Immigration Service would oversee the project for the benefit of Nigerians.

The ICRC had issued a duly approved certificate.

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