The FG has given approval for the digital identification of Internally Displaced Persons across the country, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced on Thursday. It said the approval was given after a memo on the Draft National Policy on Digital Identity for IDPs in Nigeria was presented at the recent meeting of the Federal Executive Council. The ministry also stated another memo on request for the construction of a Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre was presented to the council. “Both memos were approved and will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for a digital Nigeria,” the ministry said in a statement issued by Pantami’s Technical Assistant on Information Technology, Femi Adeluyi. It explained that the policy on digital identity for IDPs would integrate internally displaced persons, regardless of the challenges they face, such as lack of documentation and vulnerability. It noted that the Displacement Tracking Matrix showed that millions of citizens were under the IDP category, as these citizens were spread across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. Borno State has the highest number of IDPs, while Ondo State has the lowest number at over 1.49 million and over 1,000 people respectively. “A digital ID will enable the IDPs access public, private and humanitarian services and it will also improve internal security,” the ministry stated. It noted that the policy on digital identity for IDPs would be supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and implemented by the National Identity Management Commission.

The government of Kogi State has contracted a consultant to collect a levy on every loaf of bread baked, with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry saying the levy is to improve the internally-generated revenue. However, the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria in the state have spoken against the levy. A member of the association, Godfirst, said the association will meet with the consultant, noting that they received a memo from the ministry imposing a levy “on each loaf of bread” produced. “The letter was sent to us that a consultant has been given the job to generate funds from the bakery to the state government. “We are trying to meet with the consultant, but we have not been able to meet with him. We want to meet with him to give us more explanation. “We are not happy about it. Presently, there is no market. We are facing different types of challenges, and if they are now asking us to pay another tax, we don’t know how we can cope,” he said. Kingsley Fanwo, the state’s information commissioner, was not available for comment.

The Internet economy has the potential to contribute $180 billion to the economy of Nigeria and other African countries by 2025, according to a new study by Google and International Finance Corporation. The findings of the study made public on Wednesday highlighted the growth opportunities within the continent and provided a road map for investment opportunities. The e-Conomy Africa 2020 report noted that despite the delayed economic growth in Africa and the rest of the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, African Internet Gross Domestic Product could grow to $712 billion by 2050. Analysts said this growth in the Internet economy would be driven largely by private consumption, strong developer talent, public and private investment, investments in digital infrastructure, and new government policies and regulations. The report stated that a growing urban and mobile population, a rising tech talent in Africa, and growing tech companies’ investment in sub-sea and terrestrial fibre-optic infrastructure had tremendous potential to the economy. The analysts estimated that increasing Internet penetration to 75 per cent had the potential to create 44 million new jobs. They said it had become crucial for entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers to continue to dialogue with regulators, encouraging environments where digital businesses could thrive.

South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 30.8 percent between July and September, the highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis, according to government figures released Thursday. “In the 3rd quarter of 2020, there were significant movements in the South African labour market… which resulted in a significant increase of 7.5 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 30.8%,” the national statistics agency StatsSA said. “This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since the start of the (Quarterly Labour Force Survey) in 2008.” A more positive spin on the latest numbers is that all sectors are increasing employment once again. However, this comes with the caveat that the numbers are still well below those presented before the lockdown. Employment increased in all industries, except utilities and transport. The industries which gained the most jobs were finance (200,000), community and social services (137,000) and private households (116,000).