Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.


Nigeria's ID (Cards) and Ego: I

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. She holds a PhD in Economics

This article is Part I of a series. Read Part II here

Capturing the Nation

The current administration has kicked off its flagship ₦5,000 monthly conditional cash transfer programme. Predictably, controversy is emerging over who the recipients are and how they should be determined.

In response, the government has stated its intention to use a social register created in nine states for a prior World Bank-affiliated programme while it compiles a similar register for the remaining states. This response has not been entirely satisfactory, causing some to question the transparency of the process. Beyond this particular programme, the current situation points to a broader problem: Nigeria doesn't know who her citizens are. 

Identification (ID) exists. If you drive, voted in the last election, travel abroad, or are employed by the government, you likely have some form of identification. In fact, Nigerians who are urban, educated, and employed in the formal sector are often "over-identified" with multiple ID cards. But these people form a small subset of the country's approximate 173 million population; most citizens in the informal sector or rural areas are under-identified – effectively ghosts. 

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