The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stipulated that from January 8, 2013, the National Identity Number (NIN) will be a condition for owning and operating a bank account in the country.
According to a statement released by the regulatory body on Thursday, the NIN is to be used for the Know Your Customer (KYC) Verification.
To this end, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) will commence a three-month enrolment exercise for all existing bank customers, to capture their biometrics and issue them NIN as well as a General Purpose Identity Card.
The exercise will commence on September 1, 2012.
CBN said the effort, which is an overhaul of the KYC process in banks, is to bolster the banking sector and the entire financial system.
“The NIMC was established by the NIMC Act 2007 to establish, operate, maintain and manage the new National Identity Management System (NIMS), which is the avenue for achieving government desire to develop and deepen the customer credit sector, enable e-payment, facilitate financial inclusion, develop commerce and harmonise all existing and future identification scheme,” the CBN statement read.
“The output of the NIMC is the issuance of national Identity numbers, an eleven digit number which is unique and unchangeable to an individual, and the issuance of a general multi-purpose card (GMPC) based on chip technology to all citizen and legal residents in Nigeria.”
The new system will be backed-up by a central standardised identity database which will in turn enable financial institutions verify the identity of their customers on an online real time basis, using their NIN biometrics.
“Consequently, the CBN hereby directs that starting 8th January 2013, the NIN would become the basis for KYC verification and compliance by all deposit money banks and by extension other deposit taking financial institutions, including microfinance banks and primary mortgage institutions (PMIs) in Nigeria,” the CBN said.
“Presently, NIBSS is working in collaboration with the NIMC to integrate the Nigeria Central Switch operated by NIBSS with the NIMS. This integration will enable banks to conduct identity verification on NIMS through NIBSS, and will enable NIBSS to provide identity related value added service to banks.”
This enrolment exercise will be completed by the December 31, 2012.