By Prince Osuagwu
Nigeria recently launched a quest to replace the plastic identity cards it has issued to citizens since 2013 with a digital identity.
Although the process of obtaining identity has several inconsistencies and has drawn criticism, digital identity is expected to save the country some foreign exchange, address national security, promote access to financial services, and build investor confidence in Nigeria’s recessive economy. .
The identity will be issued to all Nigerians who have reached the age of 16.
According to Mckinsey, Nigeria ranks second compared to six other emerging economy countries. Digital ID coverage could unlock economic value equivalent to seven percent of GDP in 2030 in adoption and use.
This, in turn, would have a positive impact on Gross National Product (GNP), which is the value of what Nigerians earn here and abroad because there is reliable data to drive economic decisions.
However, experts do not lose sight of the failure of the previous adventure of the national identity document.
After nearly four years of enrolling millions of Nigerians, less than 10 percent of those enrolled were issued a national ID card. It could happen again, they say.
The transition to digital identification is expected to be completed in 2022. There are also high expectations that the government is ready to invest massively in enabling technology to drive the project.
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In that sense, cloud computing may well be the main infrastructure you need to prioritize.
Basically, digital identity includes attributes such as a unique identity number, social security number, name, place and date of birth, citizenship, biometrics, and more, as defined by national law.
The ID4D initiatives of the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank set the goal of providing everyone on the planet with a legal identity by 2030.
So far, numerous national electronic identification programs have been launched or started (including card- and mobile-device-based schemes and from UN to ID2020).
Examples of such projects are in Algeria, Belgium (Mobile ID), Cameroon, Ecuador, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey, Afghanistan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the Maldives.
The growing push for digital identities also means that countries are positioning themselves to benefit from investments in cloud computing.
“Building a national identity architecture that does not rely on cloud technology will not serve a modernizing nation,” said Busola Komolafe, director of cloud advisory for the Signal Alliance.
Founded in 1996, Signal Alliance has more than two decades of golden partnership status with global cloud service provider, Microsoft.
A Canalys report released in October showed that the global cloud market grew 33 percent this quarter to $ 36.5 billion.
AWS has 32 percent of the market and generated more revenue than the next three largest combined: Azure is at 19 percent of the market, Google Cloud at seven percent, Alibaba Cloud is close behind with six percent, and other clouds with 37 percent.
Additionally, IDC projects that global spending on public cloud infrastructure and services will double in the next five years, from an execution rate of $ 229 billion in 2019 to nearly $ 500 billion in 2023. This is because at a compound annual rate of five years.
Opportunities and challenges for Nigeria
Aside from businesses, cloud adoption by countries has picked up in recent times. Countries’ cloud spending rates are projected to increase by 2.8 and 3.2 percentage points from 2019 to 2022, respectively.
While the US leads the rest of the world in cloud spending, countries like the UK and the Netherlands are catching up.
African countries have little or no share in the cloud computing market. The continent’s share of the cloud market has been driven primarily by private organizations.
Although annual revenue from top-of-the-line cloud services is expected to double in 2018-20123 to reach $ 3.8 billion, currently only about 30 percent of revenue generated is done through the cloud. public, according to a Xalam Analytics “State of Cloud 2019” report on Africa.
Barriers to cloud adoption, which could also affect the success of the digital identity system, are poor infrastructure such as electricity, fast internet connectivity, backbones, etc.
Although the country has seen the construction of data centers, inadequate electricity is mainly the reason why their number has not increased yet and they are not pervasive throughout the country, most of the external consumers and providers prefer to partner with data centers. data outside the country with a guaranteed infrastructure than with one within the country or at least have a backup with data centers abroad.
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Nigeria has an opportunity with its e-digital identity drive to not only scale its adoption of cloud services, but also to reap huge benefits by creating a policy environment for cloud investments to enter the country.
Deepening cloud adoption could also help the government address issues like empowering small businesses with digital technology.
A national identification card is also sought for the expert opinion that a cloud-rich environment will force competitive and cooperative interaction in the technology industry, allowing cloud providers to produce services that meet needs. specialized.
“National security is a multidimensional endeavor, and cloud technology enables the appropriate architecture to build systems that the different security agencies in the country can depend on to protect from internal and external threats,” Busola said.