Nigeria ID4D head calls for stronger legal framework to support digital ID consistency
The head of Nigeria’s Digital Identification for Development initiative is calling on legislators in the country to pass a data protection law and the NIMC Act and related laws, as part of a push to harmonize Nigeria’s digital identity ecosystem, Vanguard.
Nigeria DID4D Project Coordinator Musa Odole Solomon made the statement during a stakeholder engagement workshop held in Abuja. Establishing an inclusive digital ID enrollment system and an effective feedback mechanism were also discussed at the meeting.
Solomon says DID4D has set aside funds to develop institutional capacity to help build trust and credibility, but the legal framework is necessary to support the project. He also suggests that the country’s efforts could be undermined by limitations to the infrastructure available to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
‘‘The project has also initiated steps towards strengthening the legal framework on identification and data in Nigeria,” says Solomon, as quoted by Vanguard. “As the Project Development Objective has mandated the project to create a robust foundational ID system for Nigeria that would involve NIMC and the Civil Registration system under the National Population Commission (NPC), the project had begun engagement with the NPC for areas of support, including digitizing the registration of births and deaths, capacity building and a review of their legal and institutional frameworks.’’
The identity ecosystem is fragmented in Nigeria, according to Solomon, with 13 different public institutions providing identification services of one kind or another.
He noted the difficulty of enrolling women, young people, and those with disabilities under the current conditions.
DID4D has plans to engage with civil society organizations, which can bridge the gap between government and individuals, Solomon said.
The government body has been partnering with other stakeholders including public sector agencies as it works towards a comprehensive digital ID ecosystem.