The federal government has inaugurated a steering committee for the Nigeria Digital Identity for Development Ecosystem project aimed at fast-tracking the development of a digital identity management system.
Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, also doubles as the chairman of the team.
Other members of the committee are Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning (alternate chairman); Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of the federation; Adamu Adamu, minister of education; Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior; Osagie Ehanire, minister of health; Isa Ali Isa Pantami, minister of communication and digital economy; Garba Abari, National Orientation Agency DG; Aliyu Aziz, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) DG.
At the team inauguration on Friday, Mustapha said a digital identity management system is important in realising the government’s economic and recovery growth plan (ERGP).
The SGF said the federal executive council approved a strategic roadmap for the project on September 12, 2018.
“Government considered and adopted a three-tiered institutional arrangement comprising of a steering committee, a strategic unit, an implementation unit situated in the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and with responsibilities for providing overall governance and coordination, ecosystem partners’ coordination and communication and day-to-day project implementation respectively,” a statement signed by Kayode Adegoke, NIMC head of corporate communications, quoted Mustapha to have said.
According to Mustapha, the project steering committee is the highest body with the responsibility of providing policy, institutional and operational guidance towards delivering on the identification vision.
“As a nation, we have a lot of grounds to cover and our fundamental ID goal can only be reached through joint efforts and coordinated approach,” he said.
“One major objective of an accelerated digital identification system is to increase the enrolment of the entire eligible population, which means increasing the database by 187 million within the next three to five years’ duration of the project.
“You would all agree with me that there is no time than now for this project, especially as it would have considerably reduced the number of challenges we are facing with identifying and locating poor and vulnerable Nigerians in the effective and efficient distribution of palliatives to cushion the effect of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of course, without meaning to enumerate the issues associated with the absence of a foundational ID system which you are all familiar with, the existence of a national identification number (NIN) for all Nigerians would improve our delivery of government services.”
Mustapha assured that the government is “fully committed to early actualisation of the project to enhance effective development and efficient delivery of government services” adding that the committee’s decisions will help build the foundations of a robust and reliable identity management system.
The inauguration was witnessed by the World Bank Team led byShubham Chaudhuri, the country director for Nigeria, and Andrew David Adejoh, the permanent secretary for political and economic affairs in the Office of the SGF.