VitalReg application: Model for building sustainable Nigeria’s databank

Adebayo Bankole

By Seyi Gesinde

Nigeria, a country with a large population of over 200 million people needs the establishment of a formidable database to support efficient governance, service delivery, national security, economic planning, social welfare, and data-driven decision-making.

Such a database ensures that the diverse needs of the population are met effectively and helps in achieving sustainable development and progress. However, the country also needs service and solution providers to help in the creation of tools needed for data gathering and collation in different sectors of the economy.

One such private solutionist and a value-added provider who teamed up with the Federal Government’s agencies to solve a big problem in digitalising all civil registrations in Nigeria such as birth registration, stillbirth registration, birth attestation, adoption, marriage notification, divorce notification, migration and death, among others is Adebayo Bankole, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Barnksforte Technologies Limited, an indigenous company committed to technology solution development and implementation in Nigeria, Africa and internationally.

In November 2023, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched an electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System (e-CRVS) and Geospatial Data Repository, as it aims to accelerate the improved civil registration and vital statistics systems in Nigeria over 10 years, from 2023 to 2030 in a bid to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal.

The National Population Commission (NPC) had collaborated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to develop the eCRVS Operational Readiness Assessment Report which showed the potential of digital technologies in providing transformative outcomes in CRVS and integrating data from multiple systems to securely store data at scale, in a cost-effective way in Nigeria.

But to make this a reality, the NPC Chairman, Nasir Kwarra, made a bold step in developing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between his Commission and Barnksforte Technologies Limited, to power a transformative innovation of the eCRVS, developing the VitalReg application to attain the digital registration goal and it is accessible to every Nigerian online user.

Similarly, the Federal Government, earlier in September 2023, launched a Self-Service Enrolment System for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in a bid to make the National Identity Number (NIN) accessible to Nigerians, also powered by Banksforte Limited.

As these online services have since been launched for the general benefit of Nigerians, this process marks an end and a complete departure from traditional paper-based recording of vital events to a state-of-the-art digital solution that conforms to international best practices. Now, the e-CRVS has brought a revolution to how vital events are recorded, tracked, and analysed in Nigeria.

ALSO READ: Explainer: What is pushing Nigeria’s naira to record lows?

Speaking during the NIMC launch, Bankole, a passionate business leader, political strategist, and negotiator with over 20 years of experience in software development and revenue management, said the VitalReg App developed would help ease the bottlenecks of data gathering among the Nigerian populace, even that Nigerians in rural areas can access the app nationwide.

Bankole said necessary measures had been put in place to ensure the security and protection of data while using the self-service app, saying, besides being seamless, the cost of using the self-service app was minimal. “It is cost-effective compared to foreign technologies.” He said anyone with a smartphone can download the app, register and put in their data for approval.

The milestone achievement for seamless documentation by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) with the VitalReg app powered by Barnksforte, plays a crucial role in efficiently capturing and managing vital information and demographic data in the country.

While his contribution has increased efficiency in the registration process, the VitalReg application has brought about significant improvements in the registration process for Nigerians, especially since it has reduced paperwork, eliminated redundancies, accelerated the overall registration timeline, and streamlined workflow, benefiting both the citizens and the government agencies involved.

The possibility of integrating the app with NPC and NIMC systems will enable seamless data sharing and improved coordination between the two agencies responsible for population registration and national identity database in Nigeria, while also facilitating the creation of a centralized database of registered Nigerians, enhancing data accuracy and reliability.

The facility provided, as explained by Bankole, has also helped in enhancing data security and privacy within the VitalReg application with robust security measures to safeguard the sensitive information of Nigerians, preventing unauthorized access and potential data breaches. This commitment to data protection will instil confidence among citizens registering through the application.

In essence, as a patriotic Nigerian youth and tech expert, Bankole’s achievements as the Managing Director of Barnksforte Limited have significantly contributed to the successful implementation of the VitalReg application for the registration of Nigerians by NPC and NIMC. His leadership, technical expertise, and commitment to innovation have played a crucial role in empowering citizens and establishing an efficient and reliable registration system in Nigeria. The competence displayed with the VitalReg application is good as a model for the development of a centralised database system as the official Nigeria’s centralized databank.