60 million Nigerians are to be issued with a biometric national ID card. According to local newspaper reports the ID cards will be embedded with fingerprints and will be distributed in 2007. So far 15 million Nigerians have been issued with ID cards.
Alhaji Shuaibu Sabon-Birni, the director of Civic Registration in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the estimated number of Nigerians between the ages 18 and above is 60 million. He also hopes that by first quarter of 2007, every eligible Nigerian will have been registered and issued the identity card.
Sabon-Birni disclosed that his Department is collaborating with the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure that non-Nigerians are not issued with the national identity card. He was quoted as saying: "Honestly as an African, it is inevitable you will have these problems, first and foremost how do you honestly differentiate between the person from Niger and the person from the northern part of Sokoto, we speak the same language, we look alike, we are Africans."