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FG urged to digitise national identification system

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The Federal Government has been advised to adopt the digital addressing system to address poverty across the country.

A former Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Service, Bisi Adegbuyi, made the call in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, saying DAS, which he described as a unique and identifiable coding system, would help in identifying the socially vulnerable and the poor in society, if adopted.

Adebuyi said, “It is important to understand that for you to alleviate poverty, you need to identify the socially vulnerable and the poor in society. It is a no-brainer that for the government to plan and make life more meaningful for the people, you must identify the people you want to plan for. That is why the digital identity, of which digit address is the last mile, is so vital for lifting people out of poverty.

“How do you go about it? All you have to do is ask people to download a digital address that will be validated, telling them it is a condition for the government to cater for them to be entitled to subsidy palliatives. If you do that, you will be building a credible, reliable, and auditable social register.”

Speaking further, Adegbuyi, who is currently the Chairman of Grassroots Address and Identity Network Limited, said “When you have facial recognition of an individual, and you integrate it with a physical and verifiable address indicating where such a person stays, there is no way anyone would challenge the integrity of such a process.

“So if Nigeria wants to embrace global best practice, it is important for NIMC to work in conjunction with NIPOST so that as you are giving identity to people via the name, you are also giving address to them and validate same.

“What they did in the US is what I am recommending for Nigeria in order to embrace global best practice. Tie the names to a verifiable physical address that will be validated by the Nigeria Postal Service. This can be achieved under a public private partnership like Grassroot Address and Identity Nigeria,” he added.

In 2019, the federal government approved September 16 as National Identity Day in Nigeria.

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