Dr. Isa Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

Government declares September 16 as National Identity Day in Nigeria

*Digital IDs play critical roles in the development of digital economies, says FMCDE Minister Dr. Isa Pantami

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has declared September 16 as National Identity Day, and has supported the enrolment of Nigerians for Digital Identity (ID) across the country.

Dr. Isa Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, stated this in a statement by Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, Spokesperson to the Minister Tuesday, in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister, who reminded Nigerians of the importance of national digital identity, said the Ministry was developing the right policy environment to support enrolment for digital IDs across the country.

The statement said: “The Sept. 16, has been declared as the National Identity Day. “Following the approval of the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria also formally adopted 16.9 as the National Identity Day.

“This year’s edition of the National Identity Day will take place virtually on the same date and will have the theme: Identity for Health, Sustainable Development and Growth.

He added that Digital IDs play critical roles in the development of digital economies, as they are often called the fabrics of the digital economies.

Digital Identity Platform   Photo: Google

Pantami emphasised the importance of a digital identity programme for the successful development of a digital economy cannot be overstated.

He said: “We will start by capturing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and 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 further stressed that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has rightly noted that Digital Identity and the digital economy are not only linked, but are reinforcing, as digital ID is the basis for digital economy platforms.

Digital identification can be an important catalyst for various development initiatives in the continent such as impacting 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, accordingly, he urged Nigerians to support the development the digital economy by embracing the use of digital identities, said the statement.

The Minister, therefore, encouraged Nigerians to visit NIMC-accredited centres for their digital identities.

The ministry is committed to ensuring that Nigeria derives the benefits of a functional digital ID system and calls on all stakeholders to support the process, said Pantami.

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