Nigerian govt to replace BVN with NIN — Minister

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Dr. Isa Ali Pantami

The Nigerian government is considering replacing the Bank Verification Numbers with the National Identity Numbers, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said on Monday.

Mr Pantami disclosed this while briefing journalists 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 the request at the National Economic Sustainability Committee.

He said the BVN is a regulator’s policy, while NIN is a law.

“The strength of the law wherever you go is not the same with a policy of one institution,’’ he said.

“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.

“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.’’

He said the collaboration with the private sectors in the NIN enrolment is a universal standard.

He emphasised the need for NIMC to focus on regulatory work and set the standards for biometric registration, measuring of heights, the standard for data to be collected, and general verification.

“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 sector of government particularly the federal level is approximately around 8.5 percent, while that of the private sector is more than 91.5 percent. The 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 initiative of the public work, the minister said it would reignite social service.

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