It was double honours for Nigeria’s leading digital identity verification and open finance infrastructure startup, VerifyMe, as the company was named Technology Solutions Company of the Year and the Co-founder and CEO, Esigie Aguele, received the award for Most Innovative CEO of the Year at the 2021 BusinessDay Nigeria Business Leaders’ Awards (NBLA).

Other nominees included Inlaks and Signal Alliance in the first category; and Chidi Ajaere and Rasheed Sarumi, Managing Directors of GIG Mobility and Saro Africa respectively, in the latter.

The Business Leadership Awards recognizes exceptional business leaders, visionaries and innovators in Nigeria’s business landscape who are making outstanding contributions to economic development, post-COVID response and recovery as well as using business as a force for good through community development initiatives and the attainment of the SDGs in their various spheres of influence.

According to Dr. Ogho Okiti, Managing Director, BusinessDay Media, organisers of the event, the choice of VerifyMe is based on the company’s position as a leading digital identity and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) technology company with a mission to build the Nigerian trust infrastructure by offering digital identity and verification services to a wide range of corporate and retail clients in Nigeria and across Africa.

He said: “VerifyMe’s impressive strides and growth trajectory within the past year which has translated to 500% increase in transaction volume in the last 6 months, and the company’s impressive clientele portfolio closing on 50 banks, the top five insurance firms, gaming companies, over 50 lenders, and three pension fund managers is testament to the groundbreaking impact the startup has made in Nigeria’s digital identity space.

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“Led by its visionary CEO, Esigie Aguele, VerifyMe has built Nigeria’s largest ID authentication network and developed the capacity to carry out thousands of address verifications daily through its tech-enabled network of verification agents across the country. In order to address client’s persistent issues on KYC, the company, this year, launched VeriFind, a proprietary geo-tagging solution targeted at improving address verification for seamless customer onboarding. This solution currently provides the most advanced and comprehensive address verification system in Nigeria.”

“VerifyMe Nigeria’s commitment to national development is evidenced by the critical investments the company is making towards building capacity and expertise in the digital identity sector in Nigeria.”

Receiving both awards, JeNika Mukoro, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, VerifyMe Nigeria, reiterated the company’s commitment to growing Africa’s trust economy.

She said: “On behalf of our Co-founder and CEO and the entire VerifyMe team, I would like to thank BusinessDay for these awards. Coming from Nigeria’s foremost business intelligence publication, we do not take the responsibility of this trust lightly. We are grateful to all our customers, our board, partners, and other stakeholders within the identity tech community for their support. The recognition will drive us to greater commitments in delivering the benefits of a credible, trust-based economy for both business growth and national development.”

Over 150 businesses were represented at the Awards while winners were determined through a weighted average of criteria including innovation, service delivery, product quality, financial results, corporate governance, Nigerian identity, ethics and integrity.