On 28th August 2014 the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan received his National eID card, heralding the official launch of the eID pilot program in that country.

The national eID card according to what I have read it is a remarkable card considering the functions it has been equipped with. The biometric-based verification card is equipped with an electronic payment solution making it the the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa.

It is reported to be equipped with 13 applications, including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology and Cryptovision’s biometric identification technology, aimed to provide millions of Nigerians – the majority of whom have never had access to a banking product – with the security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments.

The card will harmonize all identity databases including the Driver’s License, Voter Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission into a single, shared services platform.

Through the collaborative efforts of NIMC (the project lead), MasterCard (payments technology provider), Unified Payment Services Limited (payments processor), Cryptovision (Public Key Infrastructure and Trust Services Provider), and pilot issuing banks including Access Bank Plc, 13 million Nigerians will gain access to state-of-art financial services as part of the pilot program.

This means that  Nigerians can deposit funds, receive social benefits, save, or engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments with the extra security assurance that biometric verification provides with this national eID. They can also pay for goods and services and withdraw cash at millions of merchants and ATMS that accept MasterCard payment cards in Nigeria and globally.

nigeria ids
How the Nigerian National ID will look like

This card is received by all Nigerians aged 16 and above who will have registered for it.

So what are Ugandans getting after all the struggle to register for national  ID cards? Are our cards going to be equipped with the same functions as the Nigerians’?

What is Nigerian doing that we Ugandans can’t do? The above technologies are available and usable if only the government requests from the companies that have them.

Why is it hard for our government to realise that technology is the future and we need to get onto the bandwagon and start planning for a future that technology facilitates than keeping data in files and stores in cupboards….

identity-cards
How plain the Ugandan National ID will look like

 

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur founder of the 8 years old Digital Marketing agency, Kahill Insights Company Limited that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on return on investment. Patricia is currently the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership, and alumni of the YELP class of 2017. She is driven by passion and curiosity with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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