The Presidency has said it will be needing an extra $3.1bn to achieve digital national identity for all citizens.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ Workshop on Strategic Roadmap for Digital Identity, Eco-system in Nigeria.
Represented by Mr Lanre Osibona, his Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT, Osinbajo said a World Bank research of 2015 showed that Nigeria spent 1.2 billion US dollars since the 1970s on the project
He explained that the digital identity ecosystem was aimed at having a basic data of all Nigerians, which could be built upon by the functional identity stakeholders.
“This is over two years of relentless effort to get to where we are today, the issue and challenges to ensuring a successful national identity are many and they must be addressed collectively.
“However, one thing I can assure you of is that funding has never been one of those challenges.
“According to World Bank research in 2015, Nigeria spent 1.2 billion dollars since the late 1970s but much work remains undone.
“We are projected to spend an additional 3.1 billion US dollars, if we are to follow the existence approach of developing identification in Nigeria.
“The incredible benefit of this programme is at stake and we must get it right this time,’’ Osinbajo said.
The vice president said further that the major challenge facing identity programme was the lack of a working record system and practical approaches.
He said changes had been made to the process of enrolling on the digital national identity to ease the procedure, which included reduction of identity attributes from 75 to 10.
Osinbajo emphasised on the gains of the digital identity number, stating that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) would easily enforce traffic offences through unified identity system.
He added that bank transaction would also become easier, saying that the benefit derivable from the technology cannot be quantified.
He said: “it covers over all security benefits in an environment of current anonymity’’.