The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said that a well-defined identity management infrastructure will provide a credible platform for all identity utilisation agencies to leverage on for adequate, effective and efficient identity and information of Nigerians and foreigners living in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this in Abuja at a one day stakeholder’s workshop on Strategic Roadmap for Digital Identity Ecosystem in Nigeria organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
He said digital infrastructure will be pivotal to the security and socio-economic transformation of the country, such that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), like the Federal Road Safety Commission, Independent National Electoral Com-mission, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), as well as the banking and security communities will leverage on it, for sustainable development and good governance.
The vice president who was represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the president on ICT, Mr. Lanre Osibona, called on all stakeholders at the workshop to produce a robust action plan to shape the implementation of the presidential directive for the alignment of all biometric identity databases in the country.
He said: “The roadmap is a technological platform for inclusion and digital governance considering the fact that “millions of Nigerians do not have access to basic means of identification.
“Hence, the focus of the ecosystem approach is to ensure that every individual in Nigeria is given a unique identity within the next 3 – 5 years.”
He assured everyone present that the digital identity ecosystem roadmap is to be brought before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the conclusion of the workshop.
The Director General/ CEO NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, while giving the opening remarks at the event explained that the work-shop was organised to ensure that policies were developed, articulated and refined in such a way that government agencies must work together; collaborate with each other, share infrastructure and government investment to serve their customers who are potentially the same citizens and residents.
He said the draft Strategic Roadmap has been reviewed by the Harmonisation & Integration Committee and it was decided that the document be exposed to an expanded audience cutting across different sectors of the economy hence the workshop, in order to get more feedback and comments.
Noting that the benefits of unique identification for all Nigerians are enormous, he said: “we must first and foremost, establish, populate a credible National Identity Database (NIDB) and provide secured, authorised access for verification of the identities of individuals,” he said.
Also at the workshop was the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, who said that a robust and unique identification system is central to socio-economic development and bench-marking of development process of any nation as it provides information on vulnerable group like women, children and persons with disability.
Benmessaoud reiterated that an updated identification system will help development agencies across the globe to identify, assist and monitor countries and per-sons in need of social services assistance in the areas of health, education, financial inclusion, migration and travel, voting, social safety and women empowerment.
He said: “The World Bank group is focused to provide a functional identification system in West Africa in line with global best practices, hence the World Bank commitments to the development of the roadmap.”