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FG to spend fresh $3.1bn on National Identity

$3.1 billion is what the government wants to spend to achieve digital national identity for all citizens.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the Stakeholders’ Workshop on Strategic Roadmap for Digital Identity, Eco-system in Nigeria.
Osinbajo, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT, Mr. Lanre Osibona, said a World Bank research of 2015 showed that Nigeria spent $1.2 billion since the 1970s on the project.
He explained that the digital identity ecosystem was aimed at having a basic data of all Nigerians, which could be built upon by the functional identity stakeholders.
“This is over two years of relentless effort to get to where we are today, the issue and challenges to ensuring a successful national identity are many and they must be addressed collectively.
“However, one thing I can assure you of is that funding has never been one of those challenges.
“According to World Bank research in 2015, Nigeria spent $1.2 billion since the late 1970s, but much work remains undone.
“We are projected to spend an additional $3.1 billion if we are to follow the existence approach of developing identification in Nigeria.
“The incredible benefit of this programme is at stake and we must get it right this time,” Osinbajo said.
The vice president said further that the major challenge facing identity programme was the lack of a working record system and practical approaches.
He said changes had been made to the process of enrolling on the digital national identity to ease the procedure, which included reduction of identity attributes from 75 to 10.
Osinbajo emphasised on the gains of the digital identity number, stating that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) would easily enforce traffic offences through unified identity system.
Mr. Aliyu Aziz, Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), had called for collaboration among agencies handling data to help actualise the eco-system approach of national identity.
Also, Mr. Mahmood Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on National ID assured the stakeholders of the National Assembly’s support in actualising the digital national identity.

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