The Nigerian Postal Service has gone digital with its operations and a key part of its new tech-driven approach is the Digital Verification System (DAS). The digital verification system is an interesting solution to the popular problem of identity verification in Nigeria.
Nipost Digital Addressing System (DAS) is an ultra specific address system for Nigeria. It cuts across everywhere in Nigeria. It allows you to claim addresses and share with family, friends, emergency services, e.t.c #NewNipost pic.twitter.com/v9aw1c993n
— Technext (@technextdotng) August 31, 2018
The Identification Challenge in Nigeria
Identity management and verification are some of the biggest issues Nigeria faces in the 21st century. Although different government agencies have developed different identity management platforms, they have failed to interoperate these platforms for efficiency.
This means that Nigerians have had to register and submit their biodata to each of these agencies. And since these identity systems are not synched with each other, many businesses and services have become selective of which to use. For instance, banks previously preferred INEC voter’s card for identity verification to the temporary National Identity Card issued by NIMC.
This is a big challenge but the NIPOST Digital Verification System promises to provide a lasting solution to this problem.
What is NIPOST Digital Verification System?
The NIPOST Digital Verification System is a holistic solution that aims to address the identity management issues in Nigeria. The system is a sort of database, cataloguing verified addresses all across the country. For each address verified, the system generates a unique digital code to identify them.
Now, it may seem like the verification system is a duplicate of previous efforts by INEC, CBN’s BVN, and the National Identity Card scheme. However, NIPOST does not require that people scurry to offices to manually enrol to verify their addresses.
Rather, the government-owned agency is in partnership with the NIMC. And as a result, the courier service would build on the NIMC’s existing database and create the sort of interoperability that had been missing before.
This would simplify things for everybody, including NIMC and NIPOST. The new system would also help organizations ascertain the authenticity of the addresses provided by residents.
How Does Address Verification Work?
Of course, there are millions of homes in Nigeria that need to be verified but NIPOST cannot verify them all by itself with its limited number of staff. As a result, the logistics company has outsourced this task through the Address Verification System (AVS).
AVS is a part of NIPOST’s tech-driven approach. It uses a network of field agents who are largely unemployed youths, to verify houses across the country. You can read about how the AVS system works here and here.
Nonetheless, when the AVS field agents verify an address and its occupants, the system immediately validates that address and assigns a unique code for that house.
How Can I Verify My Address?
Verification of addresses is very easy to do.
First, you download the NIPOST Address Verification app for Android and iOS. On the app, you will be required to fill in certain details. Once completed within 48 hours, your application will need to be approved after an AVS field agent verifies your details physically. If successfully completed, your address is then verified!
While verification is not free, it is not expensive. According to NIPOST, there are “flexible charging options” for both individuals and corporate bodies.
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