Despite Nigeria's dynamic economy, access to basic social services remains insufficient and major inequalities continue to exist. Low access to a legally recognized identity is an additional hindrance to social and economic development. Over half of the population does not have any documents proving their identity, often due to difficulties in obtaining them or preparing the application file. As a result, only 12% of Nigerians are believed to own a national identification number and less than 1% an identity card. The country therefore has little information about its population. This lack of information prevents the development of suitable public policies and services (civil status, social security and social assistance services).
The Identification for Development (ID4D) program aims to provide 80% of the Nigerian population with access to a single, legally-recognized and reliable digital identifier. It provides access to public (health, education, administration, etc.) and private services (primarily banking services). The initiative supports the implementation of the country’s strategic road map for establishing universal digital identification.
This objective will be reached thanks to:
- the strengthening of the institutional and legal framework needed to implement the digital identity reform. This legal framework pertains to the protection of personal data, the economy and digital identification.
- the establishment of a robust and secure digital identification system, designed in a way that respects privacy rights,
- the use of services, through the digital identifier, to develop the authentication or facilitate the delivery of services, especially for the most vulnerable individuals.
At the individual level, proof of legal identity would make it easier for residents to access goods and services and assert their civic and political rights. Use of a digital identity would make administrative procedures easier and more secure for citizens and would improve the financial inclusion of the most vulnerable individuals. In the private sector, it will make transactions more secure, which will contribute to the development of the digital economy as a whole.
At federal level, knowledge and identification of the population will facilitate the planning and implementation of public policies as well as tax collection and the fight against fraud.
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