(Press TV) The new Nigerian National Identity Cards, with branded logo of the American firm, MasterCard, angered Nigerians amid fears of security and economic breach.
Many people called for an immediate halt to the project. President Goodluck Jonathan launched the national electronic identity card, which all Nigerians will have to have by 2019 if they want to vote. Nigerians hit out at the government, saying it would surrender a symbol of national sovereignty and pride to the American firm, MasterCard.
People also say the deal was made amid the intense global data spying by the National Security Agency of the United States, which is home to MasterCard. Nigeria’s government has shared the biometrics of 170 million Nigerians to the firm. The government says the card is a means of certifying the holder’s identity, payment card and a personal database repository. But, many analysts say the deal between Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission, MasterCard and Access Bank hands over all adult Nigerians as direct and compulsory customers of MasterCard.
Some even say allowing MasterCard’s logo on the country’s National ID Card could only compare to the transatlantic slave trade. The National Identity Card project for decades continued to be wrapped up in corruption and mismanagement. The allegation of corruption is in addition to other unresolved corruption cases involving missing pension funds, oil subsidy and billions of dollars missing from the petroleum ministry.