Nigeria, which is officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is the most populated country in Africa. As of 2020, the nation counted 206 million individuals, with Ethiopia ranking second place and an estimated headcount of 115 million individuals, followed by Egypt with a record of 102 million people and the Republic of Congo.
An efficient identity management system is vital, and its role towards the advancement of any economy such as Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It is based on this entire identification process a nation authorizes access and finds a way to validate the recognizable identity of all inhabitants dwelling within.
In this way, a nation can adopt advanced solutions directed at pain points like Identity management, food and supply chain management, suitable economic plans, intelligent training, unemployment, and legal, financial plans,
All these, along with a functional security framework, will be challenging to accomplish without a robust national identity system. (Which is usually made up of an identity database).
In 2007, in a bid to acknowledge those mentioned above, the National Identity Management Commission (“NIMC”) was set up by the NIMC Act to make, oversee, keep up, and put together a collective National Identity Database for Nigeria. In this light, the National Identity Management Commission must complete the enrollment of every register able individual in Nigeria and give out a National Identity Card to each enrolled individual, which will serve as a means of identification.
The Identity Management Problem in Nigeria
So far, so good the nation has spent a lot of time and resources, but the National Identity Scheme is yet to achieve tangible results to meet the objectives stated earlier.
For example, four years ago, individuals who applied for the National Identity card are yet to receive it. This is proof that despite the successes in initiatives like the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) Exercise, the solution to identity management goes beyond BVN, which is mainly focused on finances, exempting more than 50% of the population.
However, problems associated with identity systems are not limited to Nigeria alone. According to statistics from the World Bank, it appears that more than 1 billion people worldwide lack a legitimate means of identification.
Statistics from the World Bank have also estimated Nigeria to be on the track of spending a sum of $4.3b on addressing identity management systems and programs.
If we put into consideration the estimate of an exponential increase of our population by 402 million people in 2050 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Most definitely, at this rate, the National Identity Management Commission needs more than just a miracle to reach its objectives effectively.
Algorand the way forward
There is an obvious need for appropriate technological advancement and speed to complete this exercise. And that is where blockchain-based solutions come into play. The best way would be to join other countries to adopt blockchain technology, which, regarding identity management, is one of the world’s leading solutions.
Algorand and the Nigerian Identity Management
Algorand is a blockchain platform and software company founded by Turing Award winner and cryptography pioneer Silvio Micali.
The open-source digital currency blockchain promises to deliver decentralization, security, and scalability for all members. Algorand utilizes permissionless evidence of-stake protocol: all clients who hold ALGOs are naturally qualified to partake in all functionalities of the program, including taking part in the proposal and voting phase, concerning their stake (the amount ALGO they have).
Other distinctive variables that Algorand conveys are: quick exchange preparing, minimal cost and decentralized agreement, and no forks.
Advantages of Algorand
- Establishing Trust
For a country like Nigeria where corruption is known to affect every public initiative, Algorand blockchain technology, coupled with decentralization, is the right solution for creating trustless protocols that will end fraudulent practices in all sectors of the economy.
- Efficient eservices
The use of Algorand blockchain will eliminate the interruption of intermediaries or third parties. For example, ordinarily, we rely on enrolment agents and other standards for functionality such as functional space, electrical power, connectivity, etc.
This Algorand technology which eliminates human intervention, thereby increasing automation will boost up efficiency in the services rendered by the Nigerian Identity Industry like voting, access, certification, identity, taxation, audit activities, etc. These will also create new opportunities for self-enrolment and enable anyone with a smartphone to become an enrolment agent.
Algorand believes that identity management built on the Algorand blockchain will not only be transparent but verifiable while creating opportunities for onboarding users, thus enhancing self-enrolment. This technology will help the government reach the objectives of a challenging system faster.
Kindly check out the following links to learn more about the Algorand ecosystem;