The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a memo by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for a Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.
The council also approved the request by the ministry to construct a Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre.
A statement on Thursday by Pantami’s aide, Femi Adeluyi, said FEC gave the approval on Wednesday after the minister presented the two memos during the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Both memos were approved and will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for a digital Nigeria.
“Digital identity is a key requirement for the development of a sustainable digital economy and it is necessary to ensure that every strata of society is able to conveniently obtain digital IDs, including the IDPs,” he said.
According to Adeluyi, the policy “seeks to integrate IDPs, regardless of the challenges that they face, such as lack of documentation and vulnerability.”
The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) shows that millions of citizens fall under the IDP category. IDPs are spread across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
While Borno State has the highest number of IDPs, Ondo State has the lowest number at over 1.49 million and over 1,000 people respectively.
“A Digital ID will enable the IDPs access public, private and humanitarian services and it will also improve internal security. The policy on Digital Identity for IDPs will be supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and implemented by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),” Adeluyi said.
On the construction of a Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, he said the purpose was to give rise to new ideas and technologies which eventually increase productivity, enable organizations to generate greater output with the same input.
“The centre will provide facilities to nurture new ideas and focus on the promotion and development of emerging technologies. It will also support in the implementation of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT-REAP) in Nigeria which is led by Dr Pantami.
“MIT-REAP is an evidence-based, practical approach to strengthening innovation-driven entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems. The project will be supervised by the Ministry and implemented by NITDA. It will support the job creation objective of the Federal Government. The centre will be situated in Abuja.
“NIMC will implement the policy while NITDA will manage the Centre based on the policy formulated by the Minister,” Adeluyi said.