Nigeria signs MOU on biometric cards for payments in healthcare, agriculture
Nigeria is set to enhance and modernize its digital payments infrastructure, particularly in the healthcare and agriculture sectors, after a federal government agency concluded a deal with a biometric technology company.
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with eGate Technology to deploy technologies including artificial intelligence for payments, electronic medical records, hospital management and tele-medicines, among others, The Nation reports.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, NASRDA’s Director General Halilu Ahmad said the partnership will improve and streamline access to services and enhance efficiency.
Per the deal, eGate’s solution will provide biometric smart payment cards which will be integrated with existing payment facilities to facilitate payments for citizens. The partners say this will, among other things, help eliminate delays and reduce fraud. It will also ease the process of application for loans or purchases of farm inputs such as fertilizers, while also making it possible for people to undertake medical consultations remotely.
“eGate Technology is leading the way in digital transformation in the region. We believe that digital transformation will improve population access to services management, to increase efficiency, reduce costs and frond transactions, improve data security and privacy, and provide decision makers with statists report for accurate decision at the right time,” says Essam Elsaghir, eGate Technology chairman, as quoted by The Nation.
Their commitment, the official said, is to provide “a fully integrated digital identity smart card system” that will “create biometric digital identity to identify citizens and their electronic profiles with financial facility to receive money or do any type of payment “which will increase efficiency, ease access to services, and reduce problems like misidentification and fraud.”
Users will be able to access the different services using a mobile app, the technology provider says.
In the meantime, the NASRDA deal with eGate involves GS Group, a Smart Road and RFID provider, The Cable notes.
“Today we are honoured to be selected to implement our state-of-the-art RFID technology and intelligent traffic management system with country footprint infrastructure that poses many critical challenges in most modern cities, including congestion, traffic violations, car theft, and illegal vehicles,” says Gaseer Elsayed, founder of GS Group.
These digital transformation initiatives come as the government says there is progress in enrollment for the national digital ID program. The number of those with the National Identification Number (NIN) has now reached 101.64 million, New Telegraph reports.
Figures from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) indicate that 634,603 enrollments were recorded in July, which is a drop from the one million monthly registrations in the past several months.