Digital Identity Sector in Nigeria to Contribute 7% to GDP by 2030

Nigeria’s progressive shift towards digital identities has been estimated as capable of contributing seven per cent in real GDP to the economy by 2030, according to a report.

The report, titled: ‘Digital ID in Nigeria: State of the Industry,’ was co-sponsored by digital identity technology firm, VerifyMe Nigeria, and global consulting firm, Dalberg Advisors, with special focus on the nation’s digital identity and eKYC sector.

Contributors to the report included Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, digital identity companies in Nigeria and ancillary stakeholders within the industry.

The 33-page report, which is the first independent assessment of the sector, stated that the digital economy (information technology sector) contributed about 18 per cent of GDP in the second quarter of 2021.

It observed that the contribution came on the heels of the government’s drive to promote a digital transformation agenda aimed at facilitating social and financial inclusion, economic development and transaction transparency in Africa’s largest economy.

The report, however, stated that Nigeria’s aspiration to deepen its quest for a digital economy will only be possible through investments in enabling infrastructure, like the digital identity space, to further unlock the full potentials of the digital economy by advancing greater access to and safe participation within the economy.

Speaking on the essence of the report, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, VerifyMe, Esigie Aguele, said,

“As an identity and KYC company that is helping to solve the problem of financial inclusion, we see the digital identity space not just as a business but as a critical aspect of sustainable development and financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa.

“We see the partnership with Dalberg Advisors as critical. Not only does this report provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Nigerian digital identity ecosystem, we also believe it will promote standardisation and build capacity and collaboration within the industry.”

For Robin Miller, Partner and Global Digital & Data Practice Lead at Dalberg Advisors, digital identity has the potential to drive greater social and financial inclusion around the world, especially in countries such as Nigeria, which are digitising and innovating rapidly.

“Our hope for this report is that it results in a greater understanding of the state of the industry in Nigeria today, but also the steps necessary to ensure that digital IDs live up to their promise of driving truly inclusive growth,”

he added.

Themes explored in the report include the potential of digital identity, challenges of uptake and recommendations to advance the digital identity system in Nigeria. The report also contains use cases from the financial services, eCommerce and government sectors.