A Strategic Roadmap for Developing Digital Identification in Nigeria
Source: National Identification Commission of Nigeria
Executive Summary [extract]
In April 2017, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) issued the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as its overall strategy to drive the country’s economic development. The ERGP aims to re-position Nigeria as a major player in the global economy. As part of ERGP, the FGN plans to deliver key government services to people in Nigeria, including safety net, agriculture, food security, energy, transport, and enterprise development, while strengthening the macro fiscal environment, investing in people, and developing a local digital economy.
Identification is central to realizing ERGP. Without knowing who the people are, the FGN may not be able to effectively deliver important government services to people. Key government programs of social safety net, financial inclusion and elections rely on good identification. Firms, aiming to scale up the country’s digital economy, may not be able to offer innovative products and services to consumers, without good identification. The FGN’s plans to strengthen fiscal management, and promote good governance and transparency, similarly require knowing who is who. Identification is a requisite for the country’s economic, social and political progress, and works hand in hand with greater use of internet, payments, and skills for a vibrant digital economy in Nigeria.
The Need for a Strategic Roadmap
Despite the urgent need, identification remains underdeveloped in Nigeria. Currently, about 38% of people in Nigeria have any form of ID. About 13 or more Federal agencies, and another 3 or more State agencies, offer ID services in Nigeria. Each government agency collects the same biometric information of people, overlapping efforts within government, at a high fiscal cost. Important government agencies are involved in identification, including National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), National Population Commission (NPopC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Independent Election Commission (INEC), and National Communications Commission (NCC), amongst others. Despite a fragmented ID ecosystem, the FGN is on track to spend US$4.3 billion on identification, with US$1.2 billion spent, and another US$3.2 billion to be spent, based on analysis done in 2015.
This report provides a strategic roadmap for developing identification in Nigeria. The roadmap is intended to offer a credible pathway for the FGN to develop identification, at a low cost and fast pace. As part of the roadmap, the report provides policy, institutional, and operational choices for the FGN. The roadmap proposes a modified approach to developing identification, leveraging the FGN’s existing institutions, capacities and systems. The strategic roadmap emanates from a high-level policy roundtable held on identification in Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2016. In preparing the report, extensive consultations were held with stakeholders of identification in Nigeria in the year 2017, and prior studies were utilized on identification in Nigeria and on best practices of identification in developing countries.
Download report as approved by FEC September 2018 from NIMC website: https://www.nimc.gov.ng/docs/reports/strategicRoadmapDigitalID_Nigeria_May2018.pdf