The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed plans to replace the Bank Verification Number (BVN) with the National Identity Number (NIN).
The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, revealed this plans by the Federal Government to replace the Bank Verification Number (BVN) with the National Identity Number (NIN). This came as a collaboration of Ministry with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure citizens with BVNs are automatically provided with NINs.
This disclosure was made by Pantami, when he led a delegation of chief executive officers on a visit to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and NIMC enrolling centre in Abuja.
Quotes by the Minister
According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), after making a presentation to National Economic Sustainability Committee, the Minister said his attention and that of the CBN Governor were drawn to the need to replace BVN with NIN.
He said, “BVN is a bank policy while NIN is a law because it has been established by law so the strength of the law wherever you go is not the same with a policy of one institution”
Pantami said since then, the 2 establishments had been working on the initiative, with the CBN having more workload to facilitate the process, in order to make it much easier for Nigerians.
The Minister pointed out that the challenge is that the BVN records may not be 100% the same as the NIN, but what is most important is that the NIN is the primary identity of every legal resident in the country.
He said “BVN is a policy of a bank and has not been established by law. The NIMC Act 2007 provides that all our citizens must enroll and the law gives those 60 days to enroll from the time the law was enacted and a maximum of 180 days.
“All permanent residents in the country and legal residents that have to stay here for a minimum of 24 months must enroll so that the primary identification of all and all other databases are supposed to utilize this and not for NIN to utilize the BVN because it is the primary one.
“Some of the challenges encountered, NIMC produced the template for registering citizens in passport, BVN and others but some institutions did not comply with the requirements. Even in biometrics, some will just take four, some two, so you cannot harmonize without upgrading and integrating the system.”
In another development, Pantami has called on the organised private sector to enhance collaboration with government, adding that the economy of Nigeria is dependent on how it faired.
Pantami said this in his address at National Directorate of Employment/Federal Government’s Special Public works programme commissioning where 11,000 unemployed youth in Gombe State were engaged with work tools.
He said an enabling environment was key to harvesting the gains associated with private sector, stressing that the current dispensation had provided friendly atmosphere for businesses to thrive.
The minister said, “The economy of Nigeria relies more on the private sector than the public sector.
“If you look at our GDP collectively, it is approximately around $450bn which is the highest in Africa. If you compute, you will discover that the entire stage of government particularly the federal level is approximately around 8.5 per cent, while that of the private sector is more than 91.5 per cent. Government cannot do without collaborating with the private sector.
“What government must do is to provide enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and this is what we have been doing every day to come up with policies for the private sector to thrive.
“This is what brought about tax holiday, visa on arrival in Nigeria, online registration of companies by CAC.”
While hailing the public works initiative, the minister said it would reignite social service.
He said that the Federal Government had accredited 203 operators that would help enroll citizens to secure their NIN, adding that the visit was to oversee how the exercise had been.
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