World Bank has advocated a robust authentic management system to help boost the country’s digital economy. Nigeria Country Director, World Bank, Chubham Chaudury, said this during a pre-summit (Pre-#NES26) event organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, themed, “Digital Identity as a Foundation for Digital Economy and Achieving the SDGs”.
He said there was the need to use an ecosystem approach that would coordinate enrollment partners in the private sector, civil society and government.
According to him, the enrollment partnerships would help to accelerate enrollment systems, legal frameworks and a strong robust authentic management system for effective digital economy.
In her remark, Director, NESG and Co-founder/Executive Director, Kainos Edge Consulting, Mrs. Wonu Adetayo, sought the implementation of a unified identification system.
She said the need was critical, noting that it would provide the opportunity to take optimum advantage of a vibrant digital ecosystem that was obtainable in innovative nations.
She applauded the Strategic Implementation Roadmap for Digital ID, which recognises the need to leverage Public-Private-Partnerships to scale the enrolment process to reach at least 150 million Nigerians within the next three to five years.
Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office, David Andrew, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said partnerships across board would help stimulate the economy.
He said better identification systems would also help improve transparency, reduce waste and address a number of developmental challenges.
Director General of Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz revealed that the NIMC aimed to register everyone in Nigeria and issue them with a unique identity.
He said: “We need three to five years for full registration of citizens and we will be focusing on our core regulatory functions as well as some form of verification.
“We are collaborating with INEC and NOA to ensure voter validation happens with the NIN. The NIMC Act aims at reinforcing data protection and privacy laws, mandatory use of National Identity Number (NIN) by Telecommunication companies, ensuring the NIN is a unique identifier for public servants and an upgrade of the automated biometric identification system ABIS.”
The chief executive of VerifyMe, Esigie Agele revealed that only about 11 per cent of Nigerians have national identity given by NIMC while a lot of Nigerians carry multiple forms of ID as opposed to having a single identifiable ID.
He disclosed that it was essential for Nigeria to have a trusted identification system to bolster socio-economic growth. He said government must look at digital identity from a foundational and functional identity data component perspective to address its suitability for national security, social and financial inclusion.
The Country Director of DAI and member of the Governance and Institutions Policy Commission of the NESG, Dr. Joe Abah said that revision of the NIMC Act would bring on board private sector and civil society representatives to help strengthen the agency.
“NIMC was grossly underfunded between 2008 and 2016 with a release rate of 53 per cent. The NIMC Director-General has alluded to the issues of staffing and remuneration. There is a financial problem, personnel problem and policy with a plethora of organisations involved with identification without much co-ordination,” Abah said.