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Nigeria's Digital ID Scheme May Benefit Those ‘With Access'— But What About Everyone Else?

– Paradigm Initiative Nigeria

In partnership with The Engine Room, Adeboye Adegoke of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, expounds on the implementation of Nigeria’s National Identification Numbers (NIN) as a mandatory digital key to access a variety of public services in the country

Adekgoke walks through a recent, poignant case study: the initial requirement of NIN numbers for students to register for matriculation exams, and subsequent walking back of this requirement.

Through this illustration, he questions the implementation of NIN numbers as singular, digital-only proof points in a country that has a history where “such processes are often poorly managed and citizens have low trust in government agencies.”

Adekgoke questions not only the NIN implementation, but it’s very existence:

Without an adequate data privacy or protection law, how can we safeguard against some of the greatest risks that such a system could incur? If essential services in Nigeria are only truly available to people who “have access,” what should the rest of the population do?

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