Nigerian official: Biometric ID card could become passport
06 October 2014 09:03 GMT

Nigeria introduced an e-Identity card in August that stores biometric and other data

Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission is calling for the country’s national e-Identity card to be used as an international travel document, since it has all the security and technical features of Nigerian ePassports.

Tunji Durodola, head of Card Management Services at the NIMC, told local media that while the back of the ID card contains MRZ Lines (Machine Readable Zone) just like the passport, that the card’s embedded applets also store all the necessary personal details.

There is also the potential for the cards to store e-Visas, said Durodola.

However, Nigeria would need to seek bilateral travel agreements with countries if any were to accept the ID card, and the latter would need to have the right equipment.

Launched in August, the eID cards also come equipped with an EMV chip that allows card carriers to access prepaid financial services backed by Nigeria's local Access Bank and MasterCard.

European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss citizens are entitled to use a valid national identity card as a travel document as an alternative to presenting a passport.