As the global community marks the 2021 International Identity Day today, Esigie Aguele, Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer, VerifyMe Nigeria; a digital identity and Know Your Customer (KYC) technology company, has called for deeper collaboration among industry stakeholders to build trust and support the adoption of digital systems in Nigeria.
According to Aguele, while the country, through the instrumentality of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has made significant progress in building a strong identity framework as a backbone to the emerging digital economy, a lot still needs to be done to ensure standards and unlock the potential within the sector.
He said: “International Identity Day provides an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the state of play in Nigeria’s digital identity space. Undeniably, Nigeria has recorded significant progress in the area. However, critical to success in the sector is the deepening of collaborations among ecosystem players, especially in public-private partnerships, to drive a robust national identity coverage as well as enable a trust economy that will facilitate national planning and economic growth.
“The criticality of having a comprehensive identity system is underscored by the reality that every segment of the population outside the net automatically translates to exclusion from civil rights and protections under the law, exclusion from social welfare and other services and inability to transact in an increasingly digital economy. All these combine to further disenfranchise historically excluded populations.”
Restating VerifyMe’s commitment towards creating opportunities for mutual co-operation and growth in the industry, Aguele announced that the company will launch Nigeria’s first Digital Identity and eKYC Industry Report in collaboration with a global consulting firm, Dalberg.
Scheduled for launch in October, the report is an industry-wide intervention to reveal the state of practice in Nigeria as well as identify opportunities for stakeholder collaboration to optimize the growth potentials of the sector.
According to Aguele, “since evolving to a completely tech-based company in 2015, VerifyMe has made critical investments aimed at building capacity and expertise in the digital identity sector in Nigeria. From our experience working with stakeholders across the ecosystem, we realised the need to have a holistic reference guide that will promote understanding and unlock synergy across the value chain. That is the motivation behind the industry report. We are optimistic that the insights it unfolds will help forge a path to scale and unlock new frontiers for growth for the industry in Nigeria.”
International Identity Day is a global coalition in commemoration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9 which calls for a legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030. Nigeria is the first country in the world to adopt the date as a national observance day.