By Emma Okonji
Having made wide consultations with the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is canvassing for unified identity cards for all the 40.1 million students, which the association represents across various higher institutions in the country.
The decision to provide a unified students’ identity card for its members, was reached at the last Senate meeting held in Jos, Plateau State from May 13-15, 2016.
Announcing the implementation plan at a press conference in Lagos last week, NANS President, Comrade Tijani Usman Sheu, said NANS had finalised with interested partners and vendors that would support the production and distribution of the identity cards among various tertiary institutions. The partners and vendors include Qcuboyds Limited, E-Transact, Heritage Bank, Royal Exchange Plc, Unity Kapital Plc, Pierre Insurance Brokers Wakanow, Yudala, TNT, and ProQuest, a US-based company with the largest e-library in the world.
Citing security challenges and the need for proper data management of students across tertiary institutions, as reasons for the initiative, Sheu who was accompanied by other executive members of NANS, said the large number of tertiary institutions in the county, makes the verification of students identity a lot difficult.
He however stressed that the planned unified students’ identity card, would not stop the issuance of identity cards to individual students by various school authorities.
“In order to address the security situation of students’ identity and to give the Nigerian students a system that will create unequivocal identification with benefits, NANS decided to embark on the unified students’ identity card initiative, that will be called Nigerian Students Uniform Identification Card (NSUID),” Sheu said.
According to him, the identity cards would be produced for Nigerian students in public and private institutions, including Diploma and Certificate issuing institutions, Vocational and Technical Colleges, Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Universities.
Speaking on the benefits of the identity cards, Sheu said it would provide students with the opportunity to have insurance package that will include financial support for students education, as well as sponsorship of students education in the event of death or permanent disability of the students’ sponsor; ability to download e-books related to students’ discipline; appreciable discounts in land and air transportation; appreciable discounts in the purchase of mobile and electronic devices that will support students’ learning; discounts in the purchase of bandwidth for internet access; interest free loans, among other benefits.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qcuboyds Limited, Mr. Olushola Obasa, who is one of the partners of the unified identity card project, commended the initiative, while stressing that it will help for proper students identification across tertiary institutions.
An Executive Director at Royal Exchange, Mr. Austin Nwankwo, and the Director, Unity Kapital, Mr. Michael Danjuma, both pledged their support to provide students’ insurance within the limits of the project. Heritage Bank pledged its support for the project, while Mr. Babaleye Abidemi from Wakanow.com and Ifeanyi Abraham from E-Transact also pledged their support for the unified students ID card.