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NASRDA signs MOU on biometric cards

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By Abraham Adekunle

Government set to transform payments in healthcare and agriculture.

In addition to the recent news about the transformation happening in the telecom industry, the healthcare and agriculture sectors are set to undergo the same. The future of Nigeria’s telecommunications was poised for a change as prepaid cards and digital wallets were to be introduced. The two elements were set to revolutionize the way Nigerians communicate and transact with the rest of the world. So, it was as easy as buying a preloaded card to pay for goods and services in the country.

However, a Federal Government agency has concluded a deal with a biometric technology company to enhance and modernize Nigeria’s digital payment infrastructure especially in the healthcare and agriculture sectors. The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with eGate Technology to deploy biometric technologies. The agreement is expected to digitally transform healthcare and agriculture services using artificial intelligence, biometric digital identity and payment smart card, electronic medical records, hospital management, telemedicine and training, and simulation platform.

Technology will ease how these two industries offer services.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Halilu Ahmad, NASRDA’s Director General; Mr. Essam El Saghir, eGate Technology Chairman; and the Managing Director of MilkyWay Limited, Dr. Olugbenga Leke Oyewole. According to NASRDA’s director general, the agreement will support Nigeria ongoing efforts to improve the quality of services offered in the industries by enabling the digital transformation using the latest AI technology to streamline the sector operations to increase efficiency that aligns with international standards. He added that digitalization will have a revolutionary impact on unifying a secured biometric digital identity smart card for every citizen with payment facilities.

Also, citizens will find it easier to gain access to services and eliminate hours or even weeks of delay that is currently caused by the need to show or send physical copies of identity cards or other credentials to reduce fraud risk. Speaking during the signing ceremony, the chairman of eGate said that smart biometric identity with the payment facility has revolutionized the way that services in the sectors are delivered in other parts of the world. In the region, the company is leading this digital transformation.

Benefits of the introduction of these options.

Mr. El Saghir said that the belief at eGate is that digital transformation will improve population access to services management and increase efficiency, reduce costs and frond transactions, improve data security and privacy, and provide decision makers with statistics reports for accurate decisions at the right time. Their commitment is to provide a fully integrated digital identity smart card system that will create biometric digital identity to identify citizens and their electronic profiles with financial access to receive money or do any type of payment which will increase efficiency, ease access to services, and reduce problems like misidentification and fraud.

He said that citizens will be provided with a mobile app to access services from anywhere such as in lodging appointments, EMR, lab results, and home diagnostics. He also explained that telemedicine will facilitate services in remote areas by the delivery of healthcare from a distance. This will make use of electronic information and technology, such as computers, cameras, videoconferencing, satellites, wireless communications, and the internet. He said that the simulation platform is used for education, training professionals and students practice to learn valuable skills.

Agricultural platform facilitates services in the sector.

According to him, medical simulation software enables medical organizations and institutions to provide continued education, training, and accreditation to their employees. Meanwhile, the agriculture platform is used to facilitate and manage all agricultural services including loans and management of all inputs like fertilizations and seeds, among others, using digital identity and payment smart card. Also, Dr. Olugbenga Leke Oyewole described the agreement as a milestone and an achievement which will go a long way in contributing to critical areas of service development in the country.

Related Link

eGate Technology: Website

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