In a recent announcement, Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, revealed the organization's collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to facilitate the registration and issuance of digital national IDs for Nigerian citizens.
The ambitious target is to provide digital identities to 148 million individuals of working age by mid-2024, aiming to enhance inclusivity and accessibility.
Chaudhuri made this announcement during a dinner event hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in Abuja on August 25, 2023. He stated that the World Bank's is committed to eradicating poverty, improving quality of life, and creating opportunities for Nigeria's youth.
The Country Director highlighted the pivotal role of technology in driving transformative change and outlined two crucial areas of collaboration with Nigeria to achieve these objectives.
Chaudhuri emphasized that the World Bank's mission in Nigeria is centered on poverty eradication, livelihood improvement, and youth employment. One of the key collaborative initiatives is to leverage digital technologies as catalysts for transformation, starting with the issuance of digital national IDs.
The World Bank will collaborate closely with NIMC to ensure the smooth rollout of registration, ultimately aiming to provide over 200 million Nigerians with digital IDs. The initiative will commence with the working-age population, targeting a minimum of 148 million individuals by mid-2023.
Furthermore, the World Bank aims to support Nigeria in leading a broadband infrastructure connectivity drive, bridging the digital divide in the country. Chaudhuri highlighted that the bank will collaborate with states to reduce the costs associated with deploying fiber optic cables by addressing right-of-way fees.