The Nigerian government (Nasdra) has agreed a deal with eGate and VISA, to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and provide citizens with digital identity and unified payment cards.

Under a memorandum of understanding, in line with the Nigerian government’s strategy to use digital technology to diversify its economy, the implementation process will be divided into phases.

During the first phase, a unified digital identity for citizens will be launched. The second phase will cover implementation in healthcare, agriculture and smart traffic payments, with over governmental services to subsequently follow.

The issuance of a digital identity is expected to save time and effort spent on regular identification, reduce miss-use, fraud, and corruption, and in turn provide more efficient services.

Speaking on the deal, Andrew Oboye, Vice President and Group Head at Visa West Africa said: “We believe that through our combined efforts, we can drive significant progress in digital transformation and financial inclusion. Over the past few years the ICT sector, healthcare and agriculture have been leading economic industries contributing to the country’s GDP.

 “Our goal is to help individuals and economies prosper, and we are committed to helping governments adopt technologies and automation that achieve full digitization, efficiency in financial operations, accountability, and improved delivery of citizen services.”

Dr. Khalilu Ahmed, Director General of Nasdra, added that agreement strengthens the organisation’s strategic plan for digital transformation whilst providing financial inclusion as part of Nigeria’s digital transformation journey.

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