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 who spoke at a dinner, held in partnership with the ministry of communications and digital economy, in Abuja at the weekend, said there is a huge potential in leveraging digital technologies that will go a long way in driving transformation.
“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 have 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 National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure the rollout of the registration, so that all 220 million 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,” Chaudhuri said.
According to him, the most challenging aspect in rolling out these infrastructures to all parts of Nigeria is for the fibre optic cables to have the right regulation so that private investors will see some return to service.