The Grassroots Addressing and Management Systems (GAIMS) has urged the World Bank to make the adoption of the Digital Addressing and Identity Verification systems software a pre-condition for the disbursement of its newly approved $800 million subsidy palliative loan to Nigeria.

In a letter addressed to the World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, Chairman/Founder of GAIMS, Bisi Adegbuyi, a lawyer, said it was imperative that the implementation process be driven by a bespoke Addressing and Identity Technology to ensure transparency and confidence building.

According to him, “one of the conditions precedents for the process to be transparent is that beneficiaries should be assigned duly validated digital addresses and means of identification. This will also engender a real-time feedback mechanism for transparency and accountability.”

Adegbuyi, a public administrator and former Postmaster General/CEO of Nigerian Postal Service, noted that one of the major criticisms of Nigeria’s Social Intervention Programme (NSIP), enabled by World Bank’s $500 million International Development Association grant in 2016, was the alleged opaqueness of the National Social Register on poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

He added: “Nigeria’s First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, raised an alarm in May 2019, alleging that the NSIP had failed ‘woefully’ because the intervention did not reach the intended beneficiaries.

“There are many other credible criticisms all deriving from lack of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the scheme.” While welcoming news of the World Bank’s grant of $800 million under what is now known as subsidy removal palliatives aimed at cushioning the impact of petrol subsidy removal among vulnerable Nigerians, the GAIMS Chairman explained that the organisation has developed and patented a state-of-the-art, ultra specific digital addressing and identity management systems with a cutting edge technology comparable to any world-class addressing and identity solution.

“Our Digital Addressing and Identity Verification systems software, which won the recognition of World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), an affiliate of International Telecommunications Union, a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) in 2018, can help to provide an end-to-end monitoring tool for the scheme, thereby enhancing its transparency and accountability,” he stressed.