Despite the September 1, 2015 deadline set for enforcement of the new national identity card by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), commercial banks in the Lagos axis have continued to turn down customers’ request to use it as a means of identification for banking transactions.
It was revealed that financial institutions in Sango Ota, Ikeja, Apapa, Victoria Island and Surulere, among other locations, are insisting the new card was not suitable for Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements despite its enhanced features.
A bank official who gave reasons for their action said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was yet to issue directives regarding the new card.
According to some of the bankers who pleaded anonymity, the new ID card will also act as a credit card and there are necessary clarifications, especially on which bank such is tied to, before it could be accepted.
When prompted on the validity and authenticity of the new card, one of them explained that, “only CBN has the final say on whether the ID card is authentic and can be used for the purpose. For now, many banks would like to play safe and are requesting the old national ID card be presented for transaction. Until September 1, the old ID card is still valid.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians have expressed concern over NIMC’s readiness to ensure that they have their new national ID card on or before September 1, after which they may not be able to transact any business with public and some private institutions.
Some of the affected customers, who narrated their plight to Daily Sun revealed that Nigeria is a country that is not organised at all and that what was expected was that this new card should have been introduced gradually before the September 1 deadline.
“Through its gradual introduction, the banks would have been conversant with it and not have to wait till September.”
According to Mrs. Pauline Aditi, “you can imagine my embarrassment when I gave my new ID card and a cheque leaf to the cashier, only to be told that it’s not recognised.
“Initially, I thought I wasn’t hearing right and I had to ask what the matter was? I felt my picture and every other information are contained in the new card, so why would anyone reject a government directive? I am still perplexed. Not until I produced the old one, was I able to get my cash.”
Another customer, Oyewole Agbede, also recounted his experience thus: “I urgently needed to cash an amount in a bank in Joju, Sango Ota axis but I was surprised when the cashier started showing the card to some people before he brought it back to me with a ‘sorry sir, we don’t have directive to start collecting this for now’. I felt like shouting but on second thought, I restrained myself and started asking questions, which were not being answered. It was not funny. I had to go back home to bring the old national ID card before I could transact business. -The Sun