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Nigeria, Rwanda use digital ID for social welfare payments

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu recently directed officials to use the national digital ID system to enable the accurate identification of beneficiaries for a government-to-people welfare payment program in the country. The scheme is relaunching after being halted for a while after reported incidents of fraud, and it aims to reach 12 million households. Across the continent in Rwanda, the government, early this month, also rolled out a similar social welfare program dubbed the “Imibereho Dynamic Social Registry System” which will be based on a new digital ID database. It is part of a project to take almost one million Rwandans out of poverty.

Meanwhile, the Cybersecurity, Capacity Development, and Financial Inclusion (CyberFI) project run by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a development think tank, has pinpointed the importance of establishing trust in digital financial services as a way of driving up financial inclusion in Africa.

Findings of the project that involved some countries in West, Central, East and Southern Africa, offer insights and recommendations on how relevant stakeholders can broaden the inclusive nature of digital financial services.

While unravelling some of the major threats to digital financial ecosystems in Africa at different levels, the research also suggests how they can be overcome.

60M Nigerians to get social benefits using digital ID

As reported by Leadership, Finance Minister Wale Edun, speaking after a recent Federal Executive Council meeting, said the President directed that the welfare payments be restarted, but in a manner that ensures beneficiaries are actually who they claim to be.

Edun said the 12 million households targeted represent about 60 million vulnerable Nigerians, and the president has insisted that “every beneficiary will be identified by their national ID number [NIN] and bank verification number [BVN].”

The program, which was launched last year, was halted partly due to the fraud that plagued it, but the finance minister says requiring the NIN and BVN from beneficiaries henceforth will address the problem.

In the past weeks, Nigeria has been facing a cost-of-living crisis with a number of street protests staged across some cities of the country.

Edun also disclosed that cognizant of this, the government is also envisaging a social welfare program that will strengthen the purchasing power of Nigerian youth.

The cash payments program in Nigeria is part of President Tinubu’s buffer measures to assuage the effect of a fuel subsidy removal last year.

Rwanda opens new registry to manage social payments

The identities of an estimated 975,680 poor Rwandans will be managed from a new social register that will enable the government implement a poverty-alleviation scheme.

Per New Times, the new social registry that will contain vital information on the socio-economic status of poor households was launched by the local government ministry at the end of February.

The new system, which is a replacement for another known as “Ubudehe Categorization” will run thanks to a collaboration with various government agencies including the land registry, the Rwanda Information Society Authority, the National Identification Agency and the Rwanda Revenue Authority.

The outlet cites Local Government Minister Jean-Claude Musabyimana as saying that already, the details of about three million citizens have been recorded in the new registry.

Musabyimana says data collated in the system will “improve our planning for development and welfare of the residents.” The new system is also expected to tackle corruption in the social protection sector.

Rwanda’s ICT Minister announced last October that biometric enrollment for the country’s national digital ID program was imminent.

Article: Nigeria, Rwanda use digital ID for social welfare payments

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