The newly appointed President, National Association of Microfinance Bank (NAMB), Mr. Nwoke Rogers, has lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for extending registration of Biometric Verification Number (BNV) timeline for customers of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) until December 31, 2017.
The NAMB boss disclosed this, while commenting on this development believed the move will allow more prospective MFBs customers to register for their BVN.
Rogers, who spoke for stakeholders under the aegis of Microfinance Bank appreciated the decision of the apex banking acceding to the appeals received from the association to extend the BVN exercise till end of the year.
According to him, “the extension is a welcome development since about a thousand MFBs whose customers were not captured in the enrollment of BVN registration.
“The time given to finish the exercise, July 31, 2017, was very short. When we engaged CBN in discussion, we want to see action in right direction. We started a pilot program and we speak today, all the 36 states, including Abuja, the enrollment is ongoing with a very few machine.
“The Association has gone ahead to encourage our members that BVN has come to stay and you don’t run a business without a biometric capture of your customers’ details of which it is a necessity.
“We went ahead and negotiated with the operators of these machines, at a very high discount price and today, close to 100 MFBs have paid and some of these machines delivered.
“I believed that the association will work hard to avoid further extension of the BVN,” he added.
Rogers called on CBN and Federal government to assist in the subsidizing the BVN to allow small capitalized MFBs purchased the machine.
He highlighted that the BVN enrollment would reduce Non-Performing Loans in the MFBs sector, curb identify thefts and strengthen transparency across the financial sector.
Also, the 2nd Vice President, NAMB, Mr. Gold Adam explained to our correspondent that the BVN extension by CBN gives hope for more OFIs customers to register, stressing that it is a positive development.
He said, “The extension by CBN will allow more customers to register on the BVN. It is a positive development that the apex bank has obliged to our request to extend the deadline from July 31 to December 31, 2017.
“We have explained to CBN before that it is not possible to capture all the OFIs customers within a short period of time and the extension has given hope that more customers in the microfinance sector will be captured,” he explained.
The Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, in a circular had pegged July 31, 2017 deadline for OFIs operators to register their customers on the BVN and ensure that all new customers with BVN are linked to their account by August.
Her revised circular last week disclosed several OFIs had breached the regulatory directive of the July 31, 2017 deadline.
She said, “However, due to the conscientious efforts noted, the CBN is disposed to acceding to the appeals received from the Financial Inclusion Secretariat, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) and members of Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria (MBAN) soliciting for a shift in the deadline to support better compliance and avoid further financial exclusion.