The Nigerian government, represented by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA), signed an agreement with eGate, a leading company in digital transformations, and Visa, the global leader in digital payments, to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and provide a citizens digital identity and unified payment cards. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is in line with the Nigerian government’s strategy to benefit from digital technology to diversify its economy and contribute to GDP growth.
The MOU is part of a strategic partnership aimed at strengthening the digital economy in Nigeria by leveraging Visa’s global network, eGate’s expertise in digital solutions, and NASDRA’s innovative research capabilities.
The cooperation will focus on enhancing infrastructure and financial inclusion and developing innovative digital solutions for both businesses and consumers. The implementation will be in healthcare, agriculture, and smart traffic system payments as a first stage.
Khalilu Ahmed, Director General of NASDRA, said that the agreement strengthens the organization’s strategic plan for digital transformation and providing financial inclusion as part of Nigeria’s digital transformation journey.
He added that signing the MOU with Visa and eGate ensures the implementation of the latest digital financial services to support the government’s agenda. “We are confident that the implementation of digital solutions through the MOU will meet the ambitions and requirements of users throughout the country.”
Essam Al-Saghir, Chairperson of eGate, said that the agreement will enable the Nigerian government to provide new public and financial services using citizens digital identity and Visa’s payment solutions to support government digital transformation plans.
He added that the trend towards digitizing services will help governments meet citizens’ expectations and show flexibility and efficiency.
“There is no doubt that it is a complex mission, and many challenges must be overcome to implement it on the ground and provide a seamless customer experience.
Governments must make comprehensive transformations to the way services are provided. This is not an easy task, and it may take years to completely digitize the public services.
The digital identity will save the time and effort spent on regular identification, reduce misuse, fraud, and corruption, which means providing fair, better and more efficient services.”
The implementation process will be divided into phases. During the first phase, a unified digital identity for citizens will be launched. The second phase will cover implementation in the healthcare, agriculture and smart traffic payments. The rest of the governmental services will follow successively.
Andrew Oboye, Vice President and Group Head at Visa West Africa said: “This collaboration is evidence of our commitment to supporting the growth of the digital economy in Nigeria. We believe that through our combined efforts, we can drive significant progress in digital transformation and financial inclusion. Over the past few years, the ICT sector, healthcare and agriculture have been leading economic industries contributing to the country’s GDP.”
He added: “Our goal is to help individuals and economies prosper, and we are committed to helping governments adopt technologies and automation that achieve full digitization, efficiency in financial operations, accountability, and improved delivery of citizen services.”