National ID Card To Be Used As Travel Document - NIMC
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is working towards the use of the new national e-Identity card as travel document.
Mr. Tunji Durodola, Head Card Management Services of NIMC, disclosed that the back of the NIMC e-ID Card contains three lines called MRZ Lines (Machine Readable Zone) just like the Passport.
He added that One of the applets imbedded in the card has all the travel details and requirements contained in Nigeria’s e-passport and it is known as Travel Applet, so it could easily be used as travel document with the approval of the international community. The NIMC also included all the details found on the e-Passport in the chip of the card, which makes it eligible and legal to be used as travel document.
But for other countries to recognise the use of the nation e-ID card, its usage must be included in the bilateral agreement among countries that partner with Nigeria and this agreement must be recognised by the countries’ immigration and such countries must have inspection devices.
Durodola also explained that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) support the use of electronic visas (e-Visas) as travel document but with specification that dovetails with ICAO recommendation.
“The NIMC e-ID Card has support for e-Visas when they become acceptable worldwide,” he said.
But for this to work NIMC and the Nigeria Immigration Service must have to sit down and agree on the process. Also, it is not certain that other countries would be willing to work with Nigeria, which seems to be ahead of many other countries on the e-ID card programme.
If adopted, it will make travelling easier, especially for frequent travellers who have to renew their passports too often and it is a better way to document travel information, as the loss of the identity card would not impair the information therein and would not be accessed by other people.