The Kogi State Chapter of the Nigeria Computer Society on Friday 15/09/2023 hosted its monthly webinar in commemoration of the 2023 International Identity Day. The topic of discussion was “Digital ID and the Challenges of Digital Economy and E-Government System in Nigeria”. The guest speaker, Professor Joshua Abah MIEEE, MNCS, MITSSP, Dean, Faculty of Computing, Federal University Lafia, Nigeria, defined the digital economy as an economy based on digital technologies and platforms. This includes activities such as e-commerce, digital services, and digital payments. He also defined electronic government as the provision of governmental services electronically to citizens, such as passport application, access to government information, and tax filing.

Professor Abah discussed the motivation for adopting digital economy and e-government systems, citing poor employment opportunities, access to public services, poverty reduction, identity theft, fraud, crimes, insecurity, and mismanaged humanitarian interventions. He also discussed the purpose of digital ID, which is used for online authentication, authorization, verification, and non-repudiation schemes.

However, the guest speaker also pointed out certain challenges that could hinder the adoption and implementation of digital ID in Nigeria, some of which include infrastructure and connectivity issues, privacy concerns, standardization and interoperability, trust and acceptance, legal and regulatory challenges, and identity theft fraud risks. Prof. Abah further said that awareness and education play a crucial role in addressing the challenges of digital identity. Enhancing public awareness about the significance of digital identity protection, potential risks, and available security measures is essential. Educating individuals on how to create strong passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and enable multi-factor authentication empowers them to safeguard their digital identities effectively. He said, overcoming or reducing these challenges will be vital in driving Nigeria towards a digital economy and e-government society, with the full potential and benefits of a technologically-driven society.

On his part, the Zonal Coordinator of NCS, North Central Zone, Mr Bayo Mohammed Onimode appreciated the Kogi State Chapter of NCS for holding the webinar and bringing up the thought-provoking topic as we celebrate tomorrow, 16/09/2023 International Identity Day and charged them to be advocate and voice for the development of a framework and the implementation of digital Identity in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Kogi State Chapter of the Nigeria Computer Society, Dr Ayodele Oluwakemi Sade FNCS, also charged all stakeholders and Nigerians to reaffirm their commitment to inclusive and accessible identity, ensuring that identities are a force for inclusion and empowerment. She said by addressing identity protection challenges, embracing interoperability, and engaging in constructive dialogue with both governments and technology leaders, we can harness the potential of identity to create a more inclusive and secure world.

The webinar was attended by the North Central Zonal Coordinator of NCS, Mr Bayo Mohammed Onimode, chairmen of NCS in Niger and Taraba States, members of NCS, and students. The webinar provided a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on critical issues in Nigeria’s quest for digital transformation and the role the digital ID can play in driving the country towards a digital economy and e-governance society. The event was moderated by Mr Sani Godwin, the NCS Kogi State Chapter’s Chairman Education and Manpower Development Committee who also doubles as the Public Relations Officer

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