The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, approved Draft National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and a request for the construction of a Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre made by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The memos, according to a statement by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant to Pantami, will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.
Adeluyi said digital identity is a key requirement for the development of a sustainable digital economy and it is necessary to ensure that every strata of society is able to conveniently obtain Digital IDs, including the IDPs. The Policy seeks to integrate IDPs, regardless of challenges that they face, such as lack of documentation and vulnerability.
According to him, “the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) shows that millions of citizens fall under the IDP category. IDPs are spread across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. Borno State has the highest number of IDPs while Ondo State has the lowest number at over 1.49 million and over 1,000 people respectively. A Digital ID will enable the IDPs access public, private and humanitarian services and it will also improve internal security. The Policy on Digital Identity for IDPs will be supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and implemented by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
“Digital innovation has catalyzed the growth of economies across the world and is considered a major source of economic growth. It can serve as a platform for creating employment for a large number of Nigerians and will support in the development of the economy.”
He said the purpose of innovation is to give rise to new ideas and technologies which eventually increase productivity, enabling organizations to generate greater output with the same input. According to the 2018 World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, nearly 133 million new jobs may be created by 2022 by innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics.
The Centre, he said, “will provide facilities to nurture new ideas and focus on the promotion and development of emerging technologies. It will also support in the implementation of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT-REAP) in Nigeria which is led by Dr Pantami. MIT-REAP is an evidence-based, practical approach to strengthening innovation-driven entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems. The project will be supervised by the Ministry and implemented by NITDA. It will support the job creation objective of the Federal Government. The Centre will be situated in Abuja.
“NIMC will implement the Policy while NITDA will manage the Centre based on the policy formulated by the Minister. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy encourages Nigerians to take advantage of the new Policy on Digital ID and the Centre for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”