The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami said the federal government is working on replacing the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).
Pantami revealed this to newsmen in Abuja after a tour of telecoms operators and NIN licensees in the Federal Capital Territory.
The minister said he had also briefed the National Economic Sustainability Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the necessity of replacing BVN with NIN.
Making a case for the replacement, he explained that while BVN was only for accounts holders with various banks, the National Identity Numbers are for all Nigerians irrespective of their status, adding that the former is an institution policy but the latter a creation of the constitution.
According to him, “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.”