Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved Draft National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) presented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
The FEC who approved this on Wednesday also approved the Minister’s request for the construction of a Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre. The Minister said that both memos will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy.
In a statement, the Ministry 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 the challenges that they face, such as lack of documentation and vulnerability.
“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 to 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).”
The Ministry further revealed that the Entrepreneurship Centre will provide facilities to nurture new ideas and focus on the promotion and development of emerging technologies. It also said the centre will 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. According to the statement, the project will be supervised by the Ministry and implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The Centre will be situated in Abuja.
About the implementation of both approved projects, the statement read: “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.”