Nigeria Calls For Cross-Border Identity Ecosystem

By Na'ankwat Dariem

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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has reiterated the need to adopt and use the Open Standards set of Interfaces (APIs) to develop standardised tools to provide Africans with the needed access to services, in their countries of origin and anywhere else on the continent.

Professor Isa Pantami stated this through a statement signed by the Minister’s Spokesperson, Mrs.Uwa Suleiman.

The Minister was speaking through his representative, the Director General of the country’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Open Standards Identity API (OSIA), Abdulaziz Aliyu, at the on going Trustech Conference in Paris, France.

Trustech 2022 Conference is focused on secure payments and identifications.

At the Identity for Government Tract session, he noted that “Africans need credible identity documents and means of being verified securely, without their data being harvested by entities without control.It is not a uniquely Nigerian problem, and I have the mandate to extend my thoughts beyond Nigeria, to the African continent at large. Data is gold and entities that cannot be trusted have had unfettered access to personal information without the consent or the knowledge of the identity owner.”

Professor Pantami, further emphasised the urgency for a cross-border identity ecosystem with mutual recognition, developed by Africans, using African know-how and talent for the African market.

He further stated that OSIA’s recognition by a host of international standards including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will go a long way in providing job opportunities and assist in circulating local currencies across the continent.

I therefore urge African regional banks, Afrexim and the African Development Bank to support local talents.”

Professor Pantami has been a strong advocate for secure identities on the African continent.


Lateefah Ibrahim

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