Nigeria’s voting age assessment technology is under scrutiny, but digital ID applications are growing

A former senior official of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC), Oluwole Uzi-Osaze, says the electoral management body cannot use facial recognition technology to determine the age of suspected registered voters. are under the legal voting age in the country.

Former INEC Director of Voter Education speaks on local TV in response to questions on under-age voting, which is common especially in the northern states of Nigeria, Africa Press reports.

The officer proposed to address the issue of underage registrants, INEC officers must be alert to identify those under the legal voting age. He also lamented that in some communities, parents are taking their children for voter registration without any proof of identity such as birth certificates, putting a lot of pressure on INEC staff.

The issue of under-age voting comes at a time when INEC is releasing provisional electoral rolls for registered persons to report errors for correction before the final register is prepared ahead of the general elections early next year.

The Commission was also tried in August to allow biometric authentication of voters without voter cards.

Kaduna State will improve the welfare of poor children through digital identification

Officials in Nigeria’s Kaduna state say they are partnering with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide formal education to thousands of children in the Almajiri system, Ripples reports.

Almajiri is an educational system in Northern Nigeria where male children between the ages of 4-12, mostly from low-income families, learn Islamic knowledge, usually away from their parents.

Commenting on the news, the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, said their partnership with UNICEF will bring financial inclusion to children through a cash relief program as well as promote the issuance of birth certificates and digital identification.

The deputy governor explained that the program will start with a cash distribution of 5,000 naira (US$11) for 2,674 children, which will subsequently be increased to 10,000 naira (US$22).

Funding for the program will mainly cover school fees and school meals, according to the report.

The head of the digital identity authority has been invited to the Accelerator program

Aliyu Aziz, General Director of NigeriaThe authority for issuing digital IDs – the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) – has been invited to be part of Tony Blair InstituteThe Technical Policy Acceleration Program.

A press release issued by NIMC noted that the inaugural Accelerator program is meant for a select group of African officials who play a critical role in reimagining how countries can harness the potential of technological innovation to drive socio-economic development in the 21st century.

Azis was admitted to driving Nigeria Digital Identification Programwhich the country sees as the main pillar of its economic growth.

He was appointed Director General of NIMC in 2015 when Nigeria had only seven million people enrolled for digital identification. He is credited with pushing the number past 90 million in less than seven years.

In September, the Tony Blair Institute announced a Digital Identity Strategic Communications Advisor position to work for Ethiopia’s digital identification program.

Article topics

age verification | biometrics | numeric identifier | elections | facial recognition | National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) | Nigeria

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