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More World Bank support in view for Nigeria’s digital ID coverage efforts

More World Bank support in view for Nigeria’s digital ID coverage efforts

Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been promised technical support by the World Bank as part of efforts to expand digital ID coverage in the vast West African country.

Victoria Korsiak, a senior social development specialist of the World Bank in Abuja, is quoted by local news outlets as making this disclosure during a recent workshop that brought together stakeholders working to advance Nigeria’s digital ID ambitions. The workshop was to discuss the digital ID journey in Nigeria, the current state of affairs, the challenges and prospects for the future.

Already, the World Bank is among three multilateral organizations which have provided funding for the development of Nigeria’s digital ID ecosystem under the Nigeria Identity for Development (ID4D) initiative.

With the federal government and other agencies having reckoned the importance of digital ID in enabling access to important government and private sector services, it is necessary for the Bretton Woods institution to support Nigeria in expanding the issuance of the national identification number (NIN) in an inclusive manner, said Korsiak, according to the Voice of Nigeria.

The technical support, the official added, will help the government design a strategy for inclusive digital ID coverage. She also emphasized the importance of stakeholder support, which she said, is vital in making sure that each and every Nigerian is issued a NIN.

Although Nigeria has already issued more than 90 million NINs, there are still many challenges facing the process such as difficult access to certain areas, inadequate sensitization and awareness on the importance of digital ID, as well as questions of trust in terms of data privacy and protection, Korsiak mentioned.

Also speaking during the workshop was the coordinator of the Nigeria ID4D Musa Solomon Idole who reiterated the mission of the project, which is to set up a robust foundational biometric ID system.

Musa equally spoke about the steps already taken in bolstering the legal framework governing the digital ID project, adding that the putting in place of a personal data protection law is of great import to the process.

The Nigeria ID4D has been engaged in a number of activities aimed at creating a more inclusive and expansive digital ID landscape for the country. Recently, the body published tenders for a consultant to provide different digital ID infrastructure management services.

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