Today, there is no singular database that can correctly give information about all Nigerians.
When you go to get a driver’s license, your information is taken by the Federal Road Safety Corps and is kept on their server.
In the same vein, a different database is kept by the Nigerian Immigration Service for international passport requests.
As part of the voter registration process, INEC keeps another database of citizens.
The introduction of the National Identity Card by the National Identification Management Commission also requires the collection of citizens’ personal data, which is a part of the procedure for getting a National Identification Number (NIN).
Registration of GSM SIM cards, data collection by foreign embassies for VISA applications and bank account opening are also not left out in this personal information gathering craze.
The list of agencies requiring the personal information of citizens is endless.
Even though people’s personal information are stored in many databases, crime has continued to rise. This is the irony of the situation, though.
In addition, we can’t say for sure how many people live in Nigeria or where they live.
Although our situation is worse, no county seems to have a watertight identity management system.
In most parts of the world, the existing identity management system is neither secure nor reliable.
That is why, at every point, we are asked to identify ourselves with any of the numerous government-authorized identity cards, such as a driver’s license, voter’s card, international passport, etc.
With advancements in technology, especially the advent of blockchain technology, this confusion in information gathering and identity management can be more organized, secured, and easier to use.
The blockchain technology provides a lot of security and transparency, as well as its well-known decentralized ability that makes it hard to steal or change the information in it.
It can be deployed to transform the identity management system by an authoritative identity repository. From the system, individuals can give access to their personal data without having to go through the rigors of biometric data collection.
In addition, a misplaced identity card can be swiftly replaced without any errors.
For example, the Cardano network helped Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education create a digital ID system based on the Cardano blockchain.
It is a centralized network, blockchain-based universal student credentialing system that went live in the third quarter of 2021.
This entails creating a national database of student and teacher identities using a decentralized digital identity solution. Five million student identities across 3,500 schools will be created and used to store their educational records.
As a tool for planning the country’s educational programs and budget, this database will be very useful.
It will also help eliminate certificate forgery and help employers assess the true academic records of their potential employees.
It will also help with the fight against crime because the personal information of criminals can be quickly found.
The success of Bitcoin has overshadowed the myriad of features that blockchain technology offers.
The technology has several features that can greatly improve the manner in which transactions are conducted.
It is open-source software, with the source code readily available to end-users who can use it to develop smart contracts.
Another thing that makes it unique is that the operation is decentralized, which makes it easier for people to run the services built on it.
Control over the blockchain-based services does not reside in the hands of a single person or entity, but rather in the hands of all those who are connected to the network.