The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Is Pantami, said on Monday he has made a proposal to the Federal Government on the replacement of the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).
The federal government introduced the BVN in 2015 to curb illegal banking in the country.
Pantami disclosed this to journalists shortly after a tour of mobile telecoms operators’ facilities in Abuja.
He said: ‘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.
“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.”