The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has disclosed that he pushing for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to be replaced with the National Identity Number (NIN).
Pantami who stated this during a tour of several NIN registration centres in Abuja said that BVN is only for bank accounts holders while NIN is for all Nigerians.
“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 databases are supposed to utilize this and not for NIN to utilize the BVN because it is the primary one.”
Answering a question on the challenge of using BVN to update NIN during the tour, Pantami explained that this fault was because some agencies did not comply with the NIMC produced template for registering citizens for passport, BVN and others. As such, the data could not be harmonised without upgrade and integration of the systems.
On the Minister’s visitation train were the Director-General General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Garba Danbatta, and Chief Executive Officer of NIMC, Engr Aliyu Aziz.
The BVN was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria and was launched on February 14th, 2014. Its introduction was intended to tackle cybercrime and ATM fraud.