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Nigeria Needs USD $3.1 Billion to Achieve Digital National Identity – Yemi Osinbajo

The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday 31 January 2018 at the Stakeholder Workshop on Strategic Roadmap for Digital Identity, Eco-system in Abuja, Nigeria, revealed that the Federal Government required an additional 3.1 billion US dollars to achieve digital national identity for all citizens.

The Vice President was represented by his Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT, Mr Lanre Osibona, who said that World Bank research of 2015 showed that Nigeria has spent 1.2 billion US dollars since the 1970s on the project.

He explained that the digital identity ecosystem was aimed at having a basic database 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,” said Osibajo.

He added that despite the money that has already been spent on this project, a lot of work still remains.

“We are projected to spend an additional 3.1 billion US dollars, if we are to follow the existing 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.

Speaking on some of the benefits of the programme, he said that: “it covers overall security benefits in an environment of current anonymity.’’

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