New Poll Reveals That Nigerians Are Not Willing to Pay for National Identity Card Renewal Fee
Abuja, Nigeria. October 31st, 2019 – The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) through its official twitter handle on Monday 14th, October 2019, announced that the renewal of the National Identity Card will cost ₦3,000 as well as charging the sum of N5,000 for card replacement. However, a new public opinion poll released by NOIPolls has revealed that 80 percent of Nigerians are of the view that the national identity card should not have an expiration date. Also, 72 percent of Nigerians interviewed disclosed that they are not willing to pay ₦3,000 for renewal of the card mainly because it is too expensive (40 percent) and they believe the card should be free of charge (35 percent). Nonetheless, 96 percent of Nigerians mentioned that they acknowledged the need and importance of having a national identity and this assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-group.
Further findings showed that 78 percent of the respondents (18 years and above) said that they have applied to obtain the national identity card. Out of the 78 percent who have applied, 65 percent claimed to have a temporary card, while 26 percent specified that they have obtained the permanent card though most of the respondents in this category had to wait for a long period of time before getting the permanent version; sometimes above one year.
In terms of improving the process involved in registration and collection of the national identity, a larger proportion of Nigerians recommended that more registration centres should be created, collection of the permanent card should be immediately after registration and 7 percent advised that the collection centres should be decentralized. Given the above recommendations by Nigerians, it is imperative that the NIMC and all stakeholders involved in the registration and collection exercise act swiftly to improve the overall process, by reducing the waiting time for the collection of permanent Identity cards as well issues bordering the new national identity card expiration policy. These are the key findings from the National Identity Card Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week commencing October 21st, 2019.
Given the need and importance to provide Nigerians with a valid means of identification, the National Identity management Commission (NIMC) was established in 2007. This aim of the commission is to manage the National Identity Management System, carry out enrolment of citizens and legal residents and issue a unique National Identification Number (NIN), issue a National e-ID Card which is also called a Smart General Multi-Purpose Card (GMPC), manage the National Identity Database (NIDB) as well as verification and authentication of citizens’ identity. Hence, the essence and importance of having a national identity card cannot be over-emphasized as it has a multipurpose function including easy identification of an individual especially in cases of emergencies.
The National identity card is a document that proves, states and protects the legal status of every Nigerian that is a card holder. Every Nigerian from 16 years and above is eligible for the national e-ID card. Beyond easy identification, the national e-ID card has other functions which include:
- Europay MasterCard & Visa (EMV) – serve as a tool to make payment for goods and services anywhere in the world.
- Match-on-Card (MoC) –serve as a tool to authenticate a person by means of fingerprint
- Electronic Public Key Infrastructure (ePKI) – serve as a tool for applying electronic signature on contracts, applications etc.
- International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) – serve as a travel document for regional travel where visa is not required
Registration for NIN and subsequent e-ID has been ongoing for a while but many Nigerians are yet to receive their e-ID card or access any of the functions which the card is purported to do. Despite this, the commission through its official twitter handle announced that the renewal of the National Identity Card will henceforth cost ₦3,000 as well as charging the sum of N5,000 for card replacement. The tweet generated mixed reactions as some Nigerians doubted the positivity in the recent announcement from the commission. Also, the registration and collection processes have witnessed some challenges ranging from lack of adequate registration centres, long queues during registration and delay in collection of cards which have indirectly affected the process. It is hoped that NIMC will do more in this regard to ensure that these challenges experienced with the national Identity card is tackled head-on. Against this backdrop, NOIPolls conducted the poll to gauge the perception of Nigerians regarding the national identity card as well as the renewal policy upon expiration.
The first question gauged the perceptions of Nigerians on the importance of having a national identity card and findings revealed an overwhelming majority of Nigerians (96 percent) are conscious of the need to have a National ID card. This assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-group.
The poll results also revealed that 78 percent of Nigerians (18 years and above) reported that they have applied for the national identity card however, 22 percent claimed that they have not applied to obtain a national identity card. Nigerians residing in the North East (93 percent) and North West (88 percent) zones have more respondents who have applied for the card.
Out of the 78 percent who indicated that they have applied for the card, the majority (65 percent) disclosed that they currently have the temporary national identity card issued to them at the point of registration, while 26 percent revealed that they currently have the permanent national identity card. Interestingly, 6 percent disclosed that they did not get either the temporary or the permanent national identity card after they had enrolled for the exercise.
Subsequently, 26 percent of the respondents who stated that have obtained the permanent national identity were further probed and findings showed that it took over a year for 42 percent of that proportion to obtain permanent national identity card.
Similarly, 22 percent of Nigerians who stated that they have not applied for the national identity card were further probed and 35 percent of that proportion reported that they did not apply because they are not aware of the application procedures. While 24 percent mentioned that they do not have time to go register, 15 percent lamented that the process of registering for the national identity card is too stressful amongst other reasons mentioned.
Findings revealed that a large share of Nigerians (80 percent) are not aware of the national identity card renewal policy upon expiration. This cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-group. On the other hand, 20 percent acknowledged that they are aware of the new renewal policy of the national identity card upon expiration.
Further findings from the poll showed that majority of Nigerians (80 percent) were of the view that the national identity card should not have an expiration date however, 20 percent stated otherwise.
Opinion on the fee for the renewal of the national identity card revealed that majority of Nigerians disclosed that they are not willing to pay the sum of ₦3,000 for the renewal of the national identity card. Nigerians living in the North East region accounted for the larger proportion of Nigerians who made this assertion.
Respondents were further asked to state reasons for their response and out of the 72 percent who said that they are not willing to the ₦3,000, 40 percent mentioned that they are not willing to pay because they believe that ₦3,000 is unaffordable. While 35 percent mentioned that the national identity card should be free, 15 percent believe that it is their rights as citizens to obtain the national identity card free of charge.
On the other hand, those who think it should be paid for said it is because they believe the national identity card is important. This is followed by 25 percent who are willing to pay for it to be identified as citizens while 24 percent said that they will pay the ₦3,000 only if it is passed into law.
When asked of ways of easing the process of obtaining the national identity card, almost half of the respondents (46 percent) recommended that the government should open more registration centres. Additionally, 27 percent suggested that collection of the national identity card should be done immediately after registration while 7 percent advised that the collection centre should be decentralised amongst other recommendations.
In conclusion, on the knowledge of citizens with respect to having a national identity card, the poll revealed that majority (96 percent) of Nigerians nationwide are aware of the significance of having a national identity card as citizens. This significance was evenly expressed across all geopolitical zones as well as across both gender category. The poll also showed that about 8 in 10 (78 percent) Nigerians (18 years and above) have applied to obtain their national identity cards.
Furthermore, analysis on the current status of Nigerians regarding their national identity card showed that majority (65 percent) were issued temporary Identity cards while 26 percent of those who had applied received permanent national Identity cards. Also, 6 percent of the proportion of Nigerians who had applied stated that they do not have either the temporary or permanent card. Sadly, the poll on examining the time frame for receiving a permanent card after initial enrollment or capture showed that 42 percent of Nigerians who had enrolled got their national Identity cards after a year or more.
Consequently, regarding awareness on the recent national identity card renewal policy upon expiration, the poll revealed that only 20 percent of Nigerians were aware of the policy. Additionally, majority of Nigerians do not think that the national identity card should have an expiration date and are not willing to pay for renewal on expiration mainly because they believe that the ₦3,000 renewal fee is unaffordable.
The poll having revealed that most Nigerians who have enrolled for their national identity card were only issued the temporary version and had to wait for a long period of time before getting the permanent version; sometimes above one year, it is imperative that the national identity management commission and all stakeholders involved in the registration and collection exercise act swiftly to improve the overall process, by reducing the waiting time for the collection of permanent Identity cards as well issues bordering the new national identity card expiration policy. Finally, the commission will also do well to educate Nigerians on the identity card renewal policy.
The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 21st, October 2019. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning female Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s teledensity put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.
This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.
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