- 49.14m Bank Customers Enrolled on BVN as at November
Total number of bank customers that have registered on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) as at November 2016 stood at 49.14 million, data compiled from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc’s (NIBSS) website revealed.
The data showed that the figure represented a significant increase, compared with the 21.2 million recorded exactly a year ago.
The data also showed that on a monthly basis, the enrollment on BVN has continued to improve steadily.
For instance, as at January this year, 30.13 million customers had gotten their BVN, compared with the 2.24 million it was as at January 2015. Also, enrolment increased further to 31.11 million as at February this year (2.71 million as at February 2015); 32.19 million in March (3.34 million as at March 2015); 33.63 million in April 2016 (7.71 million April 2015); 35.44 million in May (9.2 million as at May 2015); and 36.12 million as at June (12.49 million as at June 2015).
Furthermore, the data showed that enrolment on the BVN platform sustained its uptick in July, when it climbed to 36.79 million registered bank customers (12.73 million as at July 2015); 46.39 million in August 2016 (13.74 million in same month in 2015); 47.35 million in as at September (14.58 million as at September 2015); and 48.14 million customers as at October this year.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee had introduced the BVN on February 14, 2014. The initiative was aimed at ensuring unique identity for all bank customers and other users of financial services in the country by the use of the customers’ biometrics as means of identification.
The BVN is a number that enables one person to have a single identity in the banking system. It basically ensures that a customer’s identity is not stolen. It has been described as a ‘silver-bullet solution’ to many of the challenges in the banking industry. A customer is only expected to register at one bank, irrespective of the number of accounts he has.
Certain forms of identification are easy to counterfeit, which had led to a rise in identity theft today. But by making use of the BVN biometrics technologies, the banking industry would enjoy enhanced security, providing consumers with better security that protects their money, financial information and identity.
According to a report by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, there are many advantages associated with secure, unique identification. The primary effect will be improved access to financial services, enabling people to benefit from credit and savings facilities.
Research has also shown that proper customer identification can have a positive effect on the behavior of risky users of financial services. The scheme is also expected to improve the banking system’s Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements as stated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as to support innovative banking solutions, especially for retail banking.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele recently explained that the BVN solution would stimulate banking transactions and also improve access to credit by customers. Emefiele noted that with the BVN, the banking industry would begin to see the opening up of consumer credit opportunities.
He said: “We are saying that with this project people who want to buy cars, want to do mortgage with the kind of data that would be fed into the centralised system and it should be possible for you to access bank credit easily.”
Meanwhile, the NIBSS data showed that the total number of bank accounts was 95 million as at November 2016. But the total active bank accounts were 64.13 million as at November.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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