World Bank and Nigerian government to implement digital national IDs

The collaboration involves working closely with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure the issuance of digital IDs, starting with the working-age population and eventually covering the entire citizenry of 220 million.

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Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank country director for Nigeria, announced the collaboration between the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the successful implementation of digital national IDs for all Nigerian citizens. He emphasized the potential of digital technologies in driving transformative changes and reducing poverty while improving lives and generating jobs, particularly for the youth.

Chaudhuri mentioned that the first step toward leveraging digital technologies for transformation is establishing a digital national ID, which is being developed in partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The goal is to provide digital national IDs for all of Nigeria’s 220 million citizens, starting with those of working age, with a target of reaching at least 148 million people by the middle of the following year.

Additionally, Chaudhuri highlighted the importance of broadband infrastructure for equitable digital connectivity and expressed the World Bank’s support for policies and regulations encouraging private investment in this area, including expanding fiber optic cables to underserved areas. He emphasized the need for appropriate regulations to ensure private investors see viable returns on their investments in these crucial digital infrastructure projects.

Why does it matter?

The collaboration between the World Bank and the Nigerian Government holds promise in leveraging digital technologies for development and poverty reduction. The focus on digital national IDs could facilitate better access to government services and financial inclusion. However, as pointed out by the Nigerian World Bank country director, directing investments towards robust broadband infrastructure is an imperative step to foster an inclusive digital transformation.