With the right strategies and active involvement of the local private sector, the Federal Government can get its national identification programme right and would not have any challenge identifying Nigerians and other residents by 2024.
This declaration was made by the Chairman of Chams Plc, Sir Demola Aladekomo, during an interview granted after his presentation at the University of Lagos MBA 83/84 class business session.
Alade referenced two key national projects executed seamlessly with the active participation of local experts.
“Let us look at just two projects executed in the past by Nigerians – Bank Verification Number (BVN) and INEC’s voters’ registration. They were both executed seamlessly by local companies with good knowledge of our peculiarities.
“This experience coupled with others has put our technology companies in a far better position to handle the identification of 230 million Nigerians and residents by 2024 easily.”
Aladekomo said with proper identification, the country would achieve immeasurable benefits in terms of good education and healthcare, reduced banditry/militancy/terrorism, economic transformation, financial inclusion and poverty eradication.
He said proper identification and planning would help the government in better decision-making, prioritise setting and deploying basic infrastructure.
In his presentation, he spoke on the socio-economic benefits of shifting paradigms, warning that there are dire consequences if the right steps are not taken to address the identification challenge.
With millions of Nigerians yet to be identified fully, he foresees an increase in chaos, anarchy, militancy, banditry, kidnapping, corruption and blatant stealing. This he said would further be exacerbated in 2050 when Nigeria’s population is expected to double.
He disclosed that Nigeria has lost about $2.5 billion in the last 45 years due to the poor implementation of several failed national identification projects.
Aladekomo stressed that to avoid wastage of another $400 million at the end of 2021, there should be more clarity in the management of various identification platforms.
To him, because the country does not know and cannot manage her people without proper identity management, “we will be faced continuously with challenging socio-economic imperatives especially in education, health sector, infrastructure development, security and rule of law.
Aladekomo then called for a paradigm shift in three areas – prioritizing data and technology, multi-agency approach and private sector involvement.
He also stressed the need to deliberately promote and engage local companies in the execution of national identity and other key technology projects. This can bring cost-effective delivery and increase the speed of execution.