Only 19% of Nigerians are in the country's database: will digital IDs change that?
After years of struggling with physical IDs, Nigeria will go digital
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 21.08.2020
Hello there, Welcome to TC Daily! Please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter if this email was forwarded to you. In today's digest: why Nigeria's plans for digital identification may fail, more on Experian's data breach and a deep dive into Nigeria's tricky logistics sector.

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Sometimes, data can show how bad conditions are in ways that are shocking.

Like this one: only 1 in 3 of Nigeria's youths are in full-time employment.

But some other data aren't surprising. Like how in 2019, only 19% of Nigerians were registered in the country's national database. The reason why the number is so low is the process.

If you've ever tried to register for a National identity card, you know the process is frustrating.

The first part of the process, getting a National Identification Number, is the easy part. Getting the physical card, that often takes a few years. It's surprising, given that Nigeria has been at the most recent national ID card project since 1998.

On Thursday, my friend told me: "one thing you can learn from Nigeria is that any project which drags on for years is an excuse to steal public funds."

Think: the Ajaokuta steel mill, Lagos light rail project and our focus: Nigeria's National Identification project. From Shehu Shagari signing the contract for a National ID card project in 1981 to the present time, the story is still the same.

The government has now introduced a slight twist in the tale. It says it is now moving its focus from physical cards to digital cards.

I wrote about that twist here, the disastrous handling of the launch of the NIMC launch and how everything points to the fact that this move to digital ID cards is not the silver bullet it seems to be.

In yesterday’s newsletter, we talked about the South African Credit Bureau, Experian, suffered a data breach. Experian’s data breach helps give some context to some data we’ve looked at before on how frequently companies around the world suffer cyber attacks. Between January and February 2020, Sophos, a security software and hardware company conducted a survey. The survey asked how often organisations around the world hosting their data in public clouds were handling cloud security. They received responses from IT managers in a number of countries. In South Africa, there were 158 respondents. 61% of those respondents said their organisations had been hit by a cyber attack in the last year. While those numbers might have felt abstract a few months ago, the cyber attack Experian suffered is real. The data of 24 million South Africans and 793,749 business entities were handed over to a suspected fraudster. Business Insider reports that Experian has confirmed that it released information to someone who presented themselves as authorised to have that information between May 24-27. Even though Experian has said no consumer or credit or financial information was obtained, you should still be careful. "South Africa's largest banks are warning affected and potentially affected customers to exercise heightened vigilance, because that information could be used in identify theft attempts, or to convince people to hand over more information."
"Ensuring a customer gets their order is complicated. The key to solving this problem lies in the logistics and courier services space, but several issues make their services difficult." Nigeria's logistics problems are well documented. In this article Techpoint moves the conversation forward, talking about age-old problems, the state of the sector and the way forward.
In the same week Uber and Lyft are thinking about temporarily closing their businesses in California, Airbnb is going public.

The company's Initial Public Offering (IPO) had been in the works since 2019. But the pandemic was a blow to their business no one saw coming. Global lockdowns for a business that is dependent on travelers is almost a death knell.

It has forced the company to act out of character by laying off employees it once referred to as "family."

With the family tree pruned, Airbnb required another stroke of luck and got it. In May, revenue began picking up. People were getting sick of being cooped up by lockdowns and were booking stays in private homes.

It is hardly enough to suggest that the worst is over, but in choosing to go ahead with its IPO, it will test the appetite of investors at a time when its revenues are far from ideal.
That's it for today,

See you tomorrow.
- Olumuyiwa

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