The Nigerian government has inaugurated a Steering Committee for the Nigeria Digital Identity for Development Project. The committee was inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is also its chairman.
The Nigeria Digital Identification for Development Project is a Word Bank (WB) funded project and has four components – all targeting to: (i) strengthen the existing legal and institutional framework; (ii) establish a robust and inclusive foundational ID system; (iii) enable access to services through IDs; and lastly, (iv) project management and stakeholder engagement.
The project is backed by a US $115 million IDA credit. The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. The credit has a grace period of five years with an expected maturity period of 30 years
According to the World Bank, the objective of the project is to increase the number of persons with a national identification (ID) number, issued by a robust and inclusive foundational ID system, that facilitates their access to services.
The project is being managed through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the agency statutorily mandated to operate and regulate matters of national identity in Nigeria
According to Mustapha, digital identification remained central and critical to realising the objective of the government’s Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
According to Mustapha, the Project Steering Committee was established to function as “the highest body with the responsibility of providing policy, institutional and operational guidance towards delivering on the identification vision and promise of the Strategic Roadmap.”
“Members of the Steering Committee were appointed by Mr. President. You are therefore charged to positively steer the project to accomplish government’s objectives, consolidate efforts to date and deliver goals outlined in the Strategic Roadmap.”
The committee will anchor the acceleration of the implementation of the strategic roadmap for digital identity development for Nigeria in accordance with the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2018.
His words: [The Strategic Roadmap, is a culmination of the enormous collective efforts and contributions of so many institutions and stakeholders, which began in the year 2015 when this government took a decision to forge a credible and cost-effective pathway for identification management.
“Government considered and adopted a three-tiered institutional arrangement comprising a Steering Committee, a Strategic Unit, an Implementation Unit situated in the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and with responsibilities of providing overall governance and coordination, ecosystem partners’ coordination and communication and day-to-day project implementation respectively.”