DIGITAL ID: 49% of Nigerian do not have means of identification – VerifyMe report
A peep into ‘Industry Report on Digital ID in Nigeria’ report commissioned by VerifyMe Nigeria Limited and produced by Dalberg Research, shows that close to half the Nigeria population (49%) have no means of identification, TechEconomy.ng can report.
The VerifyMe Industry Report on Digital ID in Nigeria hones in on national level digital ID given its role as a core enabler of the digital transformation agenda, especially as the country today commemorates National Identity Day 2021.
The report acknowledges the effort to developed Nigeria’s digital ID system to be come more effective and efficient. The drive led by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is currently in the midst of a multi-year effort to digitise and harmonise core identity data into a central, national identity database.
The harmonisation architecture is well designed and has significant potential to add value and reduce friction across the economy.
“However, there is an urgent need to overcome the challenges associated with legacy systems and data sets, incentivising transition to digital identity in a way that is convenient and ensuring adequate technical and implementation capacity.
“Given the robust design, political buy in, and time and financial resources invested to date, the priority is identifying and implementing measures that will accelerate uptake.
“Increasing the uptake of foundational ID and the basis for universal digital ID by leveraging legacy functional ID systems through turning them into entry points into the digital ID system at ID renewal and application touchpoints”, the report reads.
Some key findings in the report, scheduled to be launched soon, indicates that out of the estimated population of 206 million, only about 15% (30 million) Nigerians have National Identification Number NIN and electronic means of identification (eID card)
The executive summary of the report also shows that 23% of Nigerians have Bank Verification Number (BVN) representing 47 million.
Meanwhile, 15 million people have NIN but no eID card, the VerifyMe report reads; 15% Nigerians who have digital ID in the form of a NIN and an eID card. While 30% of Nigerians have a NIN (63 million), 12% (24 million) of the population have a NIN but no eID card.
Interestingly, a previous report co-published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Google titled: “eConomy” report, estimates that Africa’s Internet economy has the potential to contribute USD 180 billion to the continent’s economy by 2025, and a further USD 712 billion by 2050.
This is 7% and 27%, respectively. Globally, studies by the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimate that as much as 60% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be digitalised by 2022.
Given the anticipated volume of interactions and transactions between governments, businesses, and individuals via digital technology, the VerifyMe report identified four crucial measures that need to be in place to ensure that digital interactions happen in secure and credible ways.
These include; Asset registries and verification to ensure that goods being traded indeed belong to those trading them; Addressing systems that ensure goods and services reach their intended recipients, even in regions where address schema are vague or do not match typical formats used in Global Positioning Systems (GPS); Secure payment processing systems for the exchange of money both within and across borders and exchange rates and Digital ID that enables knowing who one is interacting, enables financial institutions to meet Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, and allows the government to keep track of key movements across migration, education, health, taxes, criminal justice, etc.
As we increasingly shift towards the digital space, many countries, including Nigeria, continue to advance digital ID to improve inclusive economic and social mechanisms and develop services for citizens.