By KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos –
Chams Plc, the Nigerian company responsible for the implementation of the BVN biometric registrations in the banking sector, said it is embarking on aggressive deployment of BVN to enable farmers have access to credit in line with federal government’s huge intervention in the agriculture sector.
It said to ensure that farmers, especially those in the rural areas, have access to credit facilities in the ongoing agricultural revolution of the current administration, the federal government is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to capture farmers and link them with Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Group managing director, Chams Plc, Mr. Femi Williams, attributed the success of the federal government to the ongoing enrolment of farmers in the rural areas which, he said, has so far covered 20 states of the federation.
In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, Williams said when the BVN project was conceived, it was meant to be operated in the banking hall but now, the banking industry is saturated with BVN.
According to him, this explains why the company decided to bring the machines outside the financial institutions and taken to villages.
He maintained that the company is collaborating with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to drive easy access to loan, using the Biometric Verification Number (BVN).
He said, “We are in 20 states now registering people on the BVN platform. The reason for doing this is that the CBN had said no BVN, no credit. And the major focus of current government is to allow farmers to have access to credit since they are doing huge intervention in the agriculture sector.
“On top of that, we have started innovating solution that makes management and giving of the loan easy. In the past, government used to buy solutions abroad, but we have now created better solutions and started deploying those ideas to assist government.
“And not only have we added identity but we are giving intelligent solutions to states that have allowed us to do so”.
Williams disclosed that the company is divesting into the medical, agriculture and education sectors this year. “The solution in the medical industry will transform the industry for good. It is one of those things we are planning in fourth quarter of 2017”, he added.
He explained further: “Those areas require Information Technology processing system solutions with lots of possibilities. There are challenges begging for solutions. That is why we decided to invest in those areas.
“If you check our history, Chams does not do what everybody is doing. When we started our maintenance, we were the first local company doing it. We were competing with International companies of these times. We were the first company that started card processing. We love to do things that are bold”.