The Federal Government has declared Sept. 16 as National Identity Day, while calling on all Nigerians to enrol for the Digital Identity (ID).
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday via a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman.
The minister reminded Nigerians of the importance of digital identity, adding that the ministry was developing the right policy environment to support enrolment for digital IDs across the country.
He said that the celebration of the National Identity Day would take place virtually, adding that digital IDs played critical roles in the development of digital economies, as they were often described as the fabrics of the digital economies.
Pantami also stressed that the importance of a digital identity programme for the successful development of a digital economy could not be over-emphasised.
“Sept. 16, has been declared as the International Identity Day. Following the approval of the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria also formally adopted Sept. 16 as the National Identity Day every year.
“This year’s edition of the National Identity Day will take place virtually on the same date and will have `Identity for Health, Sustainable Development and Growth’ as its theme.
“We will start by capturing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria; we will also support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that we make the process of obtaining digital identities swift and secure.
“One of the key objectives of Pillar 6 (Soft Infrastructure) of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) is support for the accelerated implementation of a Digital Identity Programme,” he said.
The minister said that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) rightly conceded that digital identity and the digital economy were linked, while recognising the fact that digital identity was the basis for digital economy platforms.
Pantami stressed that digital identification could be an important catalyst for various development initiatives on the continent, as it would impact on trade, governance, social protection, financial inclusion, domestic resource mobilisation, as well as security and human rights.
As the world and Nigeria mark the International Identity Day and National Identity Day, the minister urged Nigerians to support the development a digital economy by embracing the use of digital identities.
He encouraged Nigerians to visit NIMC accredited centres for their digital identities.
He pledged ministry’s commitment to enabling Nigeria to benefit from a functional digital identity system, calling on all stakeholders to support the process.