“The new cards will not only be used for identity verification when accessing government services, but will also allow cardholders to use their LAG ID as a payment card when taking public transit, shopping at supermarkets, or withdrawing cash from ATMs.”
Authorities in one of Nigeria’s most important states are looking to collect more residents’ biometric data thanks to a smart ID card program.
The Lagos State Resident Registration Agency (LASRRA) has first launched its LAG ID smart card (officially the “Lagos State Resident Identity Card”) in February of this year, framing it as a smart city project that would help to improve access to government e-services and financial inclusion. Now, a major upgrade to the card is planned to launch on July 20, and authorities are urging Lagos residents to make sure that they register for one.
The new cards will not only be used for identity verification when accessing government services, but will also allow cardholders to use their LAG ID as a payment card when taking public transit, shopping at supermarkets, or withdrawing cash from ATMs. Cardholders will also be able to use their LAG IDs to apply for loans through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
Biometric registration is key to the program. Residents can begin the free registration process online, but will need to visit a LASRRA Registration Centre to provide biometric data.
In announcing the upgraded ID card, LASRRA General Manager Ibilola Kasunmu emphasized that the new version will feature an chip module designed to store updated biometric data that can be used in real-time identity verification transactions.
The biometric ID effort reflects a broader enthusiasm for biometric technologies in Nigeria, particularly among government bodies. Last week brought news of plans to use biometric identity verification in an ambitious online census project, for example; and the Nigerian government was one of the earliest to begin exploring the advantages of a biometric national ID program, back in 2019.
The upgraded cards will be launched with an event featuring a live demonstration of the new LAG ID, and the participation of the Lagos governor.
July 13, 2022 – by Alex Perala