Nigeria may have lost about $2.5 billion dollars in the last 45 years due to poor implementation of several failed national identity projects according to Sir Demola Aladekomo, chairman of Chams Plc.
Aladekomo disclosed this while speaking on the topic: Socio-Economic Benefits of Shifting Paradigms, at a forum organized by the University of Lagos MBA 83-84 class.
At the event which was the first in a series moderated by Prof. Lere Baale, the chief executive of Business School Netherlands (BSN) in Nigeria, he painted even a grimmer picture, saying, “We may even waste another borrowed $400 million by end of 2021 with the non-clarity in the management of various ID projects in the country.”
With about 210 million Nigerians yet to be identified fully, he foresees increased chaos, anarchy, militancy, banditry, kidnapping, nepotism, secession calls, corruption and blatant stealing.
“This will further be exacerbated in 2050 when our population is estimated to be about 400 million if not gotten right at this stage,” Aladekomo said.
For him, because the nation does not know and cannot manage its people without proper identity management, the country will be faced continuously by challenging socio-economic imperatives, especially in education, health sector, infrastructure development, security, rule of law, etc.
This he said were gravely exposed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, called for a paradigm shift in three areas: prioritizing data and technology, multi-agency approach, and private sector involvement.
“Technologies have changed the landscape, digital economy is the new play, we need databases at national, state, agencies and sectoral levels. These data need to be domicile in Nigeria while local technologies should be encouraged,” he said.
In his contribution, a software developer, Felix Adejimi, said while data is the fuel of modern economy and digital transformation is the driver, Nigeria as a nation needs to take it seriously. He encouraged the government to focus more on providing an enabling and secure environment for private companies.