Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has described the Smart Digital Identity initiative of the state as the most ambitious in Nigeria and a critical enabler of the government’s technology program implementation roadmap.

Governor Obaseki made the remark during the official launch of the Edo State Residency Card at the 2022 edition of the state’s annual investment summit tagged, “Alaghodaro ‘22,” held in Benin City.

According to him: “The “Edo Card” is unique in that it links directly with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) database to provide one single form of identity for residents of the state in line with global best practice.”

“When we started this project, the goal was to leverage technology to create a sustainable identification framework that will support the government’s interaction with our people, expand the social net as well as enable a strengthened, more inclusive and targeted public sector service delivery that is guided by empirical data. The launch of the smart residency card marks a significant milestone in our journey and the target is to have no less than 1 million cards issued by 2024,” he added.

Esigie Aguele, Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer, VerifyMe Nigeria, a digital identity verification company and technical partner on the project, commended the state government for leveraging private sector expertise in actualising the project.

He said: “As a leading digital identity infrastructure provider in Nigeria, we are honored to partner with the Edo State Government in delivering this landmark project. We are optimistic about the benefits of the Smart Edo Digital Identity Scheme, particularly in delivering several trusted data points for citizen engagement, planning, and public service delivery in the state.

“Additionally, we are excited to note the strategic redefinition of governance by ambitious states like Edo which are leveraging technology to document citizens and residents, and using that as a basis for social planning. The implication for this project is that going into the future, VerifyMe will be in a position to bring Tier 3 KYC to the 5 million citizens of Edo State more simply as well as provide greater access to credit and open finance.

“As an African company committed to leveraging practical technology in solving Africa’s problems, we are optimistic that Edo State will serve as a model for modern governance in Nigeria and the wider continent, driven by the values of inclusion, transparency, and public service efficiency.”

The Edo State Smart Digital ID project was officially launched in November 2022 and promotes the use of digital credentials as a unique identifier for individuals and businesses to engage with the government at different touchpoints of service delivery.

VerifyMe is one of the private sector partners licensed by NIMC to offer citizen enrollment under the National Identification Number (NIN) registration exercise. The company is providing the digital identity infrastructure to support the Edo State Smart Digital Identity Initiative.

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