FG Planning to Replace BVN With NIN – Minister
FG Planning to Replace BVN With NIN – Minister
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said the Federal Government plans to replace Bank Verification Numbers with the National Identity Numbers.
The minister said this while briefing newsmen after a facility tour and inspection of the ongoing NIN enrolment exercise at NIMC and other designated centres in Abuja.
He said he had made a presentation to the National Economic Sustainability Committee and drew the attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor on the need to replace BVN with NIN.
According to him, the BVN is a regulator’s policy, while NIN is a law.
He said, “The strength of the law wherever you go is not the same with a policy of one institution.’’
The minister noted that BVN was only applicable to those who had a bank accounts while NIN was for every citizen and legal resident in the country.
“BVN is our secondary database, while NIN and the database is the primary one in the country that each and every institution should make reference to NIMC,” he said.
Pantami boasted that Nigeria was at the forefront in Africa in regard to data protection regulations, claiming that the level of security in the entire database was 99.9 per cent.
He said, “That is why we came up with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation that we always enforce and this is applicable to the database at our disposal.
“We take care of it and make sure that security is excellent and we don’t allow anybody to compromise the content because it is a trust from our citizens given to us.’’
Giving reasons the government engaged private agents for the NIN enrolment, the minister said the move was in line with the global standard.
He emphasised the need for NIMC to focus on regulatory work and set the standards for biometrics registration, measuring of heights, standard for data to be collected and general verification.
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.
Nigeria’s Currency in Circulation Drops by 235% Due to Central Bank’s Redesign Policy
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported a significant drop in the currency in circulation in the country following its redesign policy that plunged the nation into untold hardship.
The figures obtained from the CBN by Investors King revealed that N2.3 trillion was mopped up from circulation from October 2022 to February 2023, resulting in a 235.03% decline to N982.09 billion from N3.29 trillion reported at the end of October 2022.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had in October 2022, announced plans to redesign the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to address several challenges associated with currency management, including hoarding of banknotes, shortage of clean and fit banknotes, and increased risk of counterfeiting.
The CBN employed an “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in Nigeria. This approach involved tracking the movements of currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
For every withdrawal made by a Deposit Money Bank (DMB) at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in the currency in circulation was recorded, and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in the currency in circulation was recorded.
The apex bank said analysis of the currency in circulation showed that a large and increasing proportion of the naira outside the commercial banking system was held by the public who hoard a lot of the new banknotes.
At the expiration of the deadline for the old notes, due to the scarcity of the new naira notes, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the continued use of the old N200 as legal tender till April 10.
However, after some state governments sued the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy, the Supreme Court in its ruling on March 3 extended the legal tender status of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to December 31.
The drop in the currency in circulation has caused some hardship to Nigerians, and the continued use of old notes as legal tender has been approved to ease the situation.
The CBN has ordered commercial banks to comply with the Supreme Court verdict and extend the legal tender status of the old notes.
Npower Release Update on Failed Payment, Send Validation Link to Affected Beneficiaries
The management of Npower scheme, NASIMs has sent validation links to Npower batch C, Stream 2 beneficiaries. NASIMs noted that the link will be used to validate the details of beneficiaries with failed payments.
NASIMs had earlier stated that it noticed that some Npower beneficiaries are having issues with detail validation which has affected both their payment and status in the programme.
NASIMs further added that an SMS link will be sent to all selected beneficiaries for the purpose of profile validation.
It would be recalled that a significant number of batch C, Stream 2 Npower beneficiaries had taken to social media to complain of non-payment of their allowances after their colleagues had received theirs.
Therefore, the validation message sent by NASIMs to Batch C, Stream 2 N-Power Beneficiaries read: “This is to notify you that we encountered issues validating the details you provided on your N-Power (NASIMS) profile. This could be due to an error in data entry or in the case of your bank account, invalid/inactive account.
Kindly use the link below to validate your BVN and account details to continue maintaining your status on the N-Power Program.”
However, Investors King gathered that if you have received your payment as Npower Batch C, Stream 2 Beneficiary, you do not need to validate your account again.
The revalidation process is primarily aimed to rectify errors in payment issues for those who are yet to receive any payment.
A check on the Npower platform further shows that affected beneficiaries will need to provide their Npower Identification Number, BVN and Bank Account to validate their details. This will ensure they received their backlog payment.
If you have not received an SMS from Npower and you are one of the affected beneficiaries, you can however log on to http://validation.nasim.ng to validate your details.
Digital Banking Startup Credable Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round to Expand Offerings
Mumbai-based digital Banking Platform that is driving the future of banking by embedding financial services in businesses across emerging markets Credable, has raised a $2.5 million seed round to expand its offerings to emerging markets.
Speaking on the latest seed raised, the company’s CEO Nadeem Juma disclosed that Credable is seeking to offer banking services to the unbanked while planning to become the unit for emerging markets as it has rolled out plans to expand its offerings to large markets where the regulatory environment is conducive and businesses with profitable channels across MENAP and West Africa.
In his words,
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that a huge population of underbanked customers need banking services to improve their livelihoods. They are in different channels that they use every day, like telco-led mobile money, e-commerce platforms, and gig economy apps.
“Rather than try to create a new channel to bank these customers, we aim to enable these channels through a B2B2C offering that provides the customers with the banking services they need in the channels they’re already in.”
He further added that Africa’s most populous nations Nigeria, and Pakistan are at the top of its list of markets it seeks to expand its offerings.
Last May, Credable launched two products in East Africa, a 30-day term loan product in partnership with Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania and a short-term lending product for Diamond Trust Bank in Kenya.
The startup is committed to working capital and eradicating credit challenges faced by small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the new digital world. It aims to create inclusive growth for small businesses by providing them with cash management, payment, credit, and growth tools that will enable small business owners to efficiently grow and manage their businesses.”
Credable also hopes to address one financial malpractice which is predatory microlending, which typically involves imposing unfair and deceptive loan terms on end consumers.
Investors King understands that the startup handholds its business customers through product design, development, and management and works with them to ensure the product is relevant to its end consumers.
The platform syncs in with the existing accounting software and bank accounts of a business and provides real-time data that helps them make informed decisions to manage financial operations like collection and payments and avail instant, collateral-free access to working capital financing along with other growth tools.
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