Senior Special Adviser to the President on Information, Communication and Technology [ICT], Lanre Osibona has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to bring affordable digital financial services closer to Nigerians who are un-banked or under-banked.
Osibodu made this assertion in his keynote address at the recently concluded Lagos Fintech Week that was held in Lagos.
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Lagos Fintech Week is an invigorating week of distinct Fintech events that delivers exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates.
He said that digital financial services is critical to building a robust digital economy and government is determined in using it to make financial services affordable to everyone irrespective of their status and gender.
He added that part of the efforts by the government to embark on the digital financial services was the rollout of digital identity to register all Nigerians and legal residents with a digital identity – the National Identity Number (NIN).
“For those who have registered, they can verify their NIN by typing *346# from their registered phone number. We have inherited the record of five million registered Nigerians when we assumed office and we have grown the number to over 37 million registered Nigerians,” he said.
He also pointed that government has put in place a number of initiatives that include FEC’s approval of the Strategic Roadmap for Harmonisation of all silo identity agencies, developed Data Protection and Privacy Bill to ensure trust between the government and citizens.
He said the Federal Government was expected to have setup an independent Data Protection Agency.
“This is currently in the National Assembly for final adoption before being signed into law,” he added.
The President’s senior adviser also mentioned that government is developing a robust cyber security framework on the outcome of the cyber security assessment initiative.
“We have upgraded the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) technology in order to scale the number of records it can hold and working with a number of stakeholders including the private sector to develop strategy for e-commerce in the digital economy.”
He stated that the country cannot afford to lose out in leveraging the opportunities that digital economy is bringing but must work together in developing policies and regulations that will address challenges of data sovereignty, data ownership and commercialisation of data.