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World Bank approves Nigeria’s identity project, five others


A biometric capturing tool. Source: India Today

• Projects estimate worth $2.2 billion, targets economic development
Nigeria’s digital identity ecosystem project, along with five others, has been approved by the World Bank in Washington DC, the United States, yesterday.

The approved projects, whose worth is estimated to be around $2.2 billion, are aimed at assisting the country to empower citizens, especially marginalised groups, to access welfare-enhancing services.

The national digital identity ecosystem project is focused on enhancing the national Identity system’s legal and technical safeguards to protect personal data and privacy.

The World Bank approved the six projects to support Nigeria’s development priorities focused on improving immunisation, providing an enabling business environment for private sector, expanding the digital economy to promote job creation and increasing capacity of public and private sector on governance, social and environmental safeguards.

“The World Bank is ramping up support to Nigeria in efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” said World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri.

Chaudhuri said these projects are focused on delivering better services to Nigerian citizens.

According to him, this means ensuring that children are immunised and sleep under mosquito nets, improving rural mobility with better roads, and providing citizens with a unique identification number to be able to better target social safety nets.

Among the projects approved in the “programme of support in fiscal year 2020,” is the Nigeria Digital Identification for Development Project.

A statement by the World Bank explained that the Project “will support the National Identity Management Commission to increase the number of persons who have a national identification number (NIN) reaching about 150 million in the next couple of years.”

The World Bank statement continued: “This will enable people in Nigeria, especially marginalised groups, to access welfare-enhancing services. The project will also enhance the ID system’s legal and technical safeguards to protect personal data and privacy.

“This is financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $115 million and co-financing of $100 million from the French Agency for Development and $215 million from the European Investment Bank.”

Other projects approved and to be covered in the World Bank programme are:
Immunisation Plus & Malaria Progress by Accelerating Coverage and Transforming Services (IMPACT), will strengthen health systems to deliver effective primary health care and improve immunisation, malaria control, and child and maternal health in selected states.

Amongst key results, the project aims to improve vaccination coverage, the percentage of children under five who sleep under insecticide treated nets from 28 per cent to 41 per cent and improve the percentage of women who receive post-natal check-ups from 47 per cent to 55 per cent. The project is financed under concessional terms through an IDA credit of $650million.

Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project will upgrade rural roads; improve connectivity and access to local markets and agrobusiness services in 13 states. In particular, the project will upgrade about 1,600 kilometres of rural roads and improve 65 agro-logistics centres.

These interventions are expected to increase by up to 10 per cent the proportion of population who live within two kilometres of an all-season road. The project is financed through an IDA credit of $280million, co-financing of $230million from the French Development Agency and $65million from the Government of Nigeria.

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