Enyimba Economic City Project
Enyimba Economic City (EEC) is a smart city project spread across 9469 hectares in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in South-South / South-East Nigeria. EEC is the single largest development project in Nigeria undertaken under the Public Private Partnership model.
Enyimba Economic City is designed to offer efficiency, sustainability, environment consciousness and all other modern amenities of a smart city. It aims to eventually become the center of economic growth in the country.
This case study corresponds to the project undertaken by CWG PLC for biometric fingerprint enrollment of the landowners at Enyimba Economic City and associating the fingerprint identity with the land records so that a land sell transaction cannot take place without verifying the landowner’s identity with his/her fingerprints.
The Business Need
Sustainability, efficiency and automation are the basic requirements in any smart city project. Information & Communication Technology has proved to be of great help ECC to achieve that. A smart city should be able to effectively link sensors and software to generate and manage information that improves efficiency in decision making and in arriving at smart solutions to every day issues.
EEC Stakeholders, however, were thinking beyond just integrating smart abilities. They wanted realty transactions taking place at EEC to be as secure and efficient as the city itself was designed to be. Identity verification can always be a challenged in high value transactions and realty transaction happening at EEC such as land purchase, sell, etc. were not an exception.
A land sell transaction may include significant risk if identity of the property owner is not accurately verified. Manual methods of identity verification can be easily manipulated with forged IDs, documents, etc., and can be used to falsify identity of the landowner, posing significant risk for the buyers as well as the landowners.
Traditional methods of landowner’s identification (e.g. ID cards, identity documents, etc.) are not only vulnerable to forgery; their verification can take significant time, which may result in delay in the deal and even cancellation of it. Printed IDs and documents are generally issued by the government agencies and the verification process through government departments may not be a pleasant experience.
To overcome these issues, EEC stakeholders wanted a robust, reliable, accurate and fast method of identity verification of landowners, before the land selling transactions could take place at the smart city. After a thorough analysis, stakeholders zeroed in on biometrics. Among today’s identity verification approaches, only biometric recognition came close to fulfil the requirements.
This, however, was expected to require significant efforts as fingerprinting at Enyimba City project had to be started from scratch with fingerprint enrollment of landowners. A fingerprint scanner with software was to be integrated with the existing software system used for managing different aspects at EEC project.
What our clients say
EEC smart city project was made possible by several contractors and service providers and when it came to implementing biometric fingerprint identification of landowners, EEC stakeholders chose CWG PLC for the job. CWG PLC is a leading information technology services company in Nigeria.
CWG PLC partnered with EECD group and agreed to deliver the project. However, CWG were working on a very tight deadline in order to complete this requirement.
Key challenges of the project were:
- Introducing fingerprint recognition ability by integrating fingerprint scanner and fingerprint matching with their existing software.
- Registration of landowners in Enyimba Economic City with their fingerprints and demographic details.
- Uploading biometric and demographic details on a central server.
- Identity verification of landowners using fingerprints before land sell transaction could take place.
To integrate fingerprint identification with the existing system, developers at CWG started surveying biometric fingerprint SKDs available in the market. It was their first project that involved biometric fingerprint recognition. They found many vendors for fingerprint SDKs. However, most of these SDKs needed weeks of development time in order to integrate them with GWG’s software. This made these SDKs not suitable as it would mean weeks of development time and resources spent on software integration.
During their research they came across Bayometric’s Touch N Go fingerprint SDK and signed up for the demo and trial.
Integration of fingerprint scanner with software
Touch N Go allows quick and easy integration of fingerprint scanners in third party applications. It is highly secure, cost effective and scalable SDK that seamlessly integrates with custom solutions. The integration process at CWG required the fingerprint SDK to support Java and MYSQL, which Touch N Go supports seamlessly. The sample code provided with Touch N Go and video guide showing the integration process were of great help according to the CWG developers. The company also had budget constraints and Touch N Go proved to be a very cost-effective option.
CWG was able to integrate fingerprint recognition in their solution in a very short period of time. Developers as well as project managers at CWG were very pleased with fingerprint matching accuracy, speed and the cost effectiveness of Touch N Go. Fingerprinting at Enyimba city project has started to become a reality.
Fingerprint enrolment of landowners
After the successful integration of fingerprint scanner with software, fingerprint enrollment of landowners was the next challenge. For this, company employed Field officers to visit landowners and enroll their fingerprints along with their demographic details. CWG had already configured a central server as the data captured during the fingerprint enrollment of landowners was to be uploaded to the central server in real time.
After a brief test pilot, the new systems went live and have been running successfully since then.
Business Benefits Achieved
Fingerprint enrollment of landowners and need of fingerprint identification before selling land in Enyimba Economic City resulted in many benefits:
- Possibility of falsification of landowner’s identity eliminated.
- Identity verification process became smoother, more reliable and possibility of fraud reduced significantly.
- Landowner’s identity verification related manual procedures eliminated.
- New system was more in-line with the definition of a “smart city”.