The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has disclosed that there are plans by the Federal Government for the National Identity Numbers (NIN) to replace the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).
The BVN is a measure put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 2014 to ensure the protection of bank customers’ transactions.
Pantami noted that the NIN is the primary and legal identity of all Nigerians, which should be included in their bank accounts, saying the BVN is not established by law.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari is satisfied with the ongoing NIN registration across the country.
”The challenge is that the BVN records may not be 100 percent the same with NIN but what is most important is that the NIN is the primary identity of each and every citizen, including legal residents,” Pantami said.
“BVN is a policy of a bank and has not been established by law, NIN is the only mandatory number and the primary identification of our citizens and every other identification is secondary.
“The NIMC Act 2007 provides that all our citizens must be enrolled and the law gives them 60 days to enroll from the time the law was enacted and a maximum of 180 days and all permanent residents in the country and legal residents that have to stay here for a minimum of 24 months must be enrolled.
“So this is the primary identification of all and all other data bases are supposed to utilize this and not for NIN to utilize the BVN because it is the primary one.
“We discussed with the CBN Governor today on how to ensure that all our citizens with BVN will immediately be provided with the NIN. We are working on that but facilitating the process lies on CBN to make it much easier for our people.
“I made a presentation to National Economic Sustainability Committee and I drew the attention of CBN governor that we need to replace BVN with NIN because the BVN is a bank policy while NIN is a law.”