By Kayode Tokede, Lagos
The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has called on federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) registration with technical equipment needed to fast track the exercise across the country.
Acting president, NAMB, Mr. Nasiru Baba said the association had written to CBN and collaborating with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) on the need to provided technical equipment for exercise in rural areas.
According to him, “We have written to CBN about it. We are trying other alternative for now. Some of our banks have started using commercial banks in the registration but we are more concerned with those in the rural communities.
“We have more than 60 per cent of our customers are living in the rural areas. The problem is that we cannot enrol those customers in the rural given the capital intensive of the equipments. Most of our members cannot avoid those equipments and we are appealing to CBN and government to assist. We had set up a committee that will look into that along with CBN.”
When asked about the July 31, 2017 deadline enrollment of their customers, he said it not achievable given the present challenges. He explained that the association last week had meeting with NIBSS to see how enrollment of customers can be achieved across the country.
According to him, “the July 31, 2017 BVN enrollment is not achievable even banks registration has been extended more than twice. We only have two months left and the MFBs have a lot of customers to register. As you know we have over 900 MFBs in Nigeria right now and we cannot avoid providing equipment needed for BVN registration. It is only the government and CBN that can help us.”
In his response, the 2nd vice president, NAMB, Mr. Gold Adam also appeal to government to provide the needed technical equipment for BVN enrollment of MFBs customers across the country. He said “We are working closely with government and CBN to make sure all MFBs customers are registered on BVN.
“It is not all MFBs that have capacity on their own to purchase those equipments for BVN registration. Some MFBs are making arrangement with their commercial bank despite the risk attached to it. For those in the rural area, we believe that government should bank roll the project. The federal government and CBN have the resources to fund the MFBs BVN registration across the country.