The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri says the multilateral lender is collaborating with the federal government to ensure the successful rollout and registration of digital national IDs for all Nigerians.
Chaudhuri spoke at a dinner, held in partnership with the ministry of communications and digital economy, in Abuja on Friday.
He said there is a huge potential in leveraging digital technologies that will go a long way in driving transformation.
He reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to eradicating poverty, improving lives and creating job opportunities for the country’s youth.
The World Bank top official said the ambitious target is to provide at least 148 million people of working age with a digital national ID by the middle of next year, marking a significant step towards inclusion and accessibility.
Chaudhuri said, “Our main mission here in Nigeria is to eliminate poverty, make lives better, create jobs for all Nigerian youth. One of the areas that we think has the greatest potential is the area of using digital technologies to transform. Now to do that it begins with having this digital national ID.
“So one of the main partnerships we have is working with NIMC to ensure the rollout of the registration so that all 213/220million Nigerians have a digital national ID, beginning of course with all people of working age and I think the target for that is at least 148 million people by the middle of next year.
“The second is helping Nigeria lead the broadband infrastructure for broadband connectivity because without broadband connectivity, digital technologies will lead to a digital divide. So their support has been for good kinds of policies and regulations that will help invite private investment into this space and then fibre optic cables.
“One thing, for example, working with states is to persuade states to reduce the right of way fees and fiber. Cable operators have to pay more when they’re getting the land to lay the cable. All that is like the foundations and real potential comes from once you have the national ID, all the technologies that apps that can be built on the weather to bring services to people, to people where they get people access to finance that all of that needs skills.”