Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy says the Federal Government of Nigeria is to replace Bank Verification Number (BVN) and in the long run other means of Verification in the country, with the National Identification Number. The Minister for Communication and Digital Economy said the Ministry has been collaborating with the Central Bank to ensure that Nigerian citizens who already have BVNs are provided with NINs.
He made the statement when he led a delegation of chief executive officers on a visit to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and a private enrolling centre in Abuja.
The Minister said his attention and that of Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank was drawn to the need to replace BVN with NIN after his presentation to the National Economic Sustainability Committee. According to him, the Bank Verification Number is a bank policy while the National Identification Number is established by law and is not the same as the policy of an institution. He stressed that there should be one unified database for all institutions in the country to make reference to, and that it should be the NIN. ‘BVN is a policy of a bank and has not been established by law. The NIMC Act 2007 provides that all our citizens must enrol and the law gives them 60 days to enrol from the time the law was enacted and a maximum of 180 days’, the Minister said.
The Minister said the Ministry and the Central Bank have been working very hard to ensure that citizens with BVN have their NIN. He said while this is one of the easiest way to make getting the NIN easy for Nigerians, it puts a lot of workload on the Central Bank.
He described the major challenge of using the information from BVN of citizens for NIN as tasking because BVN may not have the same exact information that is needed for NIN but what is more important is the fact that citizens get to have a National Identity Number. He said it is the primary identity of every legal resident in the country.