As part of efforts to encourage more Nigerians who do not have bank accounts to come into the banking system, the bankers’ committee has concluded plans to categorise Bank Verifications Number (BVN) into Premium and Lite.
At its 11th meeting which ended on Saturday in Ogere, Ogun State, the bankers also disclosed plans to begin an estimated N25 billion renovation work on the National Arts Theater Iganmu Lagos, in January 2020.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the two-day meeting, the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele explained first, that those categorised under the BVN lite will have a limit to the kind of transactions they can do in terms of deposit, withdrawals and in terms of loans.
According to him, there are about 40 million people on the BVN platform and the committee believes that because of the benefits of the BVN to bank customers and the economy there is a need to consolidate and move BVN to a new level.
His words: “This entails, for instance, to reclassify and segregate transactions that could be done on BVN. We have two classifications. The existing BVN that we have in the system, categorised as the premium has about 18 lines of information. The BVN lite will have less bio-information requirements like the telephone line.
“The important thing is that we want to make you financially included where you can conduct basic banking service. Our people in the rural communities who have BVN lite will later be migrated to basic.”
Explaining the difference between the reclassification and the KYC, the governor said the KYC is part of what will be migrated into the BVN Lite.
However, there are people who are currently financially excluded, like people in the rural communities that carry phones but do not have financial services.
Emefiele noted that with the collaboration of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the banks are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them to conduct minimal financial services.
“The BVN lite arrangement where they can conduct minimal financial services, not just banking services, but minimal financial services, insurance and anything you want to conduct in terms of finance whether e-payment or anything, you can do it with the aid of your phone.
“Now as you bring them into the financial system, what it will do is that it will help to increase our rate of financial inclusion and reduce exclusion rate,” Emefiele stated.
On the National Theatre, the governor observed that at some global meetings like the annual meetings of the international Monetary fund, there are nothing less than 100,000 people in a week period. This means that Hotel business, foreign exchange earnings, tourism business are boosted by that.
“When you have an international conference holding in a place like the international art theatre, tourism is boosted. Nigerians should please work with us to see to the redevelopment of this asset,” he stated.
Emefiele further emphasized that the bankers’ committee has a presidential approval, that confers on it the power to redevelop the National Arts Theatre.
It is not being sold he clarified, adding that that the Federal Government is not selling this asset.
“And why will we sell an asset that has great potential to generate massive revenue for the government.
“What the Bankers Committee is doing is to help revive a dead asset or an asset that is dying that is not currently not well maintained, that is not able to generate its potential earning and revenue as a result of paucity of funds and good maintenance,” the CNN governor said.
On the existing staff, he said the committee will work with them and make sure there is maintenance culture and arrangement that will give that national theatre and the hub around it a tourist attraction not only to Nigerians but to the world.
“We must create jobs for our youths. A larger population of our people are youths and if they are jobless, how can they live a life? These people have certain innate skills endowed by God. What we are just trying to say is for them to unleash these skills, through that,” Emefiele stated.