The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is advocating that the new national e-Identity card should be used as travel document.
One of the applets provided in the card contains all the travel details and requirements which are also in Nigeria’s e-passport and it is known as Travel Applet, so it could easily be used as travel document if the other countries approve it.
The head, Card Management Services, NIMC, Mr. Tunji Durodola, said that the back of the NIMC eID Card contains three lines called MRZ Lines (Machine Readable Zone) just like the Passport.
Furthermore, a part of the new e-ID card contains all the details found on the e-Passport which makes it qualified and permissible to be used as travel document around the world.
However, for other countries to be acquainted with the usage of the e- national identity card, its usage must be included in the bilateral agreement among countries that are associated with Nigeria.
Also, this agreement has to be recognised by the immigration of those countries and such countries must have inspection devices.
Durodola also explained that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are in support the use of electronic visas (e-Visas) as travel document but with requirement that is in unison with their approval.
“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 put heads together to plan and reach a conclusion for the method to be used.
On the other hand, it might be difficult for other countries to buy the idea of the national e-ID card being used as travel document being that Nigeria is seemingly ahead of virtually most of them on the e-ID card issue.
The adoption of this e-ID card if approved will be great news especially for constant travellers as it will make the travelling less stressful as against the often renewal of passports before one could travel.
Also, it could be seen as a better way to file travel information, as the loss of the identity card would not affect the information indicated in it and it is impossible for other people to assess it.