Failed identity management costs Nigeria $2.5b in 45 years —Aladekomo

THE Federal Goverment has been advised to ensure proper national identity management to avoid continuous socio-economic challenges in the country.

Sir Demola Aladekomo, chairman of Chams Plc., gave the advice at a virtual forum organised by the MBA Class of 83-84, University of Lagos (UNILAG), last week in Lagos.

The topic of the forum was : “Socio-Economic Imperatives of Identity Management”.

Aladekomo, who was the Speaker at the event, said that the country should manage people with proper identity so as to guard against continuous socio-economic challenges.

He said: “Especially in our education, health sector, infrastructure development, security, rule of law and others which were gravely exposed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nigeria has lost about 2.5 billion dollars in the last 45 years due to poor implementation of several failed national identity projects.

“We may even waste another borrowed 400 million dollars by the end of 2021 with the non-clarity in the management of various identity  projects in the country.”

He said that with about 210 million Nigerians yet to be  fully captured in  the national identification scheme, the country might likely experience increased chaos, anarchy and other social vices.

“This will  be further exacerbated in 2050 when our population is estimated to be about 400 million if we do not get it right at this stage,” he noted.

Aladekomo, a Computer Engineer and also the Chairman of SmartCity Resorts Plc, called  for a paradigm shift in three areas :  prioritising data and technology, multi-agency approach, and private sector involvement.

In his contribution, Mr Felix Adejimi, a software developer, said, while data is the fuel of modern economy and digital transformation is the driver, Nigeria as a nation, needs to take it seriously. He encouraged government to focus more on providing enabling and secure environment for private companies.

Mr Tunde Omitogun, Managing Director of HISPLUS, on his part, encouraged the nation to act fast and implement some of the points highlighted at the forum. The event, which was the first in a series, was moderated by Professor Lere Baale, Chief Executive Officer of Business School Netherlands (BSN) in Nigeria.

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