The World Bank has set a goal of issuing digital national IDs to at least 148 million working-age Nigerians mid-2024. This initiative aims to improve inclusion and accessibility for individuals in the country. In line with this, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, announced that the federal government has secured a $500 million loan to support local funding programs.
The government plans to use this funding to boost innovation and entrepreneurship within Nigeria’s digital sector. To ensure that Nigerian businesses benefit from this funding, collaborations will be established with the Bank of Industry (BoI). The goal is to foster the growth and development of homegrown enterprises, contributing to the country’s economic progress.
This initial $500 million is just the beginning, and the government intends to attract more investors to further support Nigerian innovators. By domiciling the funding locally, the aim is to leverage the funds to attract additional investments and expand resources for local entrepreneurs. The government’s commitment to this project extends beyond the initial funding, with plans to bring in more investors as the available funds grow.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, also emphasized the importance of a digital national ID as the foundation for digital transformation. The World Bank is collaborating with the National Identity Management Commission to ensure the successful rollout and registration of digital national IDs for all Nigerians. Chaudhuri highlighted that the World Bank’s mission in Nigeria is to eradicate poverty, improve lives, and create job opportunities for the country’s youth.
In addition to the digital national ID project, another key area of partnership between the World Bank and Nigeria is the development of broadband infrastructure. Access to broadband connectivity is crucial for leveraging digital technologies and bridging the digital divide. The World Bank’s support includes advocating for policies and regulations that encourage private investment in broadband infrastructure, such as reducing right-of-way fees for fiber optic cable operators.
Overall, the World Bank’s ambitious plan to provide digital IDs for millions of Nigerians demonstrates a commitment to inclusion, innovation, and economic progress. By leveraging digital technologies and expanding access to broadband, Nigeria has the potential to transform its economy and improve the lives of its citizens.
– Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani
– World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri