Tech News, Views and Issues– Dissected & Reviewed!
Well first, technology can be fantastic and as a matter of fact even progressive but most times ethical issues and other concerns surrounding it as well needs to be addressed before one jumps into the bandwagon especially after considering ones own unique environment or terrain. So in regards to the issue i.e of electronic-ID in Nigeria should we then say we do not need to advance and improve our way of life as Nigerians just because of the fear of the future, the fear of what we call “big Government” taking over our freedoms as individuals overnight? I’m afraid the answer is really up to you. But there is no denying that the introduction of the National electronic ID card is a huge step for a country like Nigeria. In fact, the Jonathan administration must have seen it as one of the strategic steps towards ensuring credible voting in future elections in Nigeria. While true, there is a whole lot of other issues springing up lately from Nigerians regarding this card especially on its implementation. This is rather interesting, considering that the president must have patted himself on the back after the unveiling of the card that he is representing change and progressiveness needed in the country and glad to have made an impression on a lot of Nigerians (and the rest of the world) with this initiative. But unfortunately, here are some major concerns of note by Nigerians- First, The logo on the card This is one thing Nigerians are definitely not feeling too impressed about- not because it isn’t good looking but because instead of the card bearing a Nigerian logo it has a foreign one on it, MasterCard’s. According to them, this clearly represents a foreign stamp of ownership by a private company and carries a lot of connotations about the nation and financial implications as well. Lead Director of Centre for Social Justice Eze Onyekpere was quoted as saying: “Nigeria’s colours and coat of arms is what should be there. As far as we are concerned it cannot stand. It is not worth it if that’s what they have done.” Second, Issues of Privacy Almost like the feared future “mark of the beast”, Nigerians are forced to buy it by compulsion cause it will become the official tool of identity for us as Nigerians and their fear is that their privacy might be at stake which is true for a lot of reasons among them being that MasterCard, the foreign company responsible for it, is known to work side by side (or at least in proximity) with the NSA, a US government agency notorious for its massive e-surveillance activities. So, in your view would you consider this as a wrong move and a clearly misguided one by the GEJ administration, or something that was perhaps too early to be embarked on for a country like Nigeria still struggling with fundamental issues of governance? But as a side note, this issue underscores the fact that Nigeria needs to develop her nation towards full technological capacity so as to reach a level of independence and boost indigenous tech solutions for her population, enabling the government better handle issues such as this instead of “off-shoring” sensitive projects abroad. In any case, it’s our right and responsibility as citizens to start asking questions and taking proactive measures (electronic or not) towards securing our future. By doing so, we wouldn’t have to fear MasterCard; instead we would be ensuring that the master doesn’t play the last card on us. 🙂 Now take care — Be mindful of your identity!