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Update: CBN classifies BVN into lite and premium

... invests in security operations center to contain cyber risks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend disclosed plans to classify the Bank Verification Number (BVN) into lite and premium.

The move is part of efforts towards getting the financially excluded into the financial System and increase the rate of financial inclusion.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN said this on Saturday at the end of the 11th bankers committee retreat in Ogun State.

He said the Know Your Customer (KYC) information is part of what would be migrated into the BVN Lite.

“There are people who are currently financially excluded, like people in our rural communities that carry phones, but not having financial services. With the collaboration of NCC, we are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them conduct minimal financial services”.

“It should be possible for us to migrate this people into 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 epayment, or anything, you can do it with the aid of your phone”.

Emefiele also disclosed plans to invest in security operation center which will serve as a gateway for banks and security agencies.

“On our part in CBN we are looking at investing in security operations center that will act as a gateway not only for banks.  Unfortunately, we are all naked today as a result of internet and cyber and we all have to do everything to protect ourselves,” he said.

He said the banks must invest massively to reduce cyber attacks. He also said the bankers committee have agreed to put in place measures such as panic alert to mitigate cyber attacks.

Emefiele said Cyber risk which today is growing in different parts of the world, the banks, the CBN, and the government, everybody needs to do something about it.

The banks were advised to do more in their management and control of cyber risks. The banks were also advised to invest more money in tools whether soft or hardware that will help them in containing cyber risks in their operational environment.

“But of course on the part of the CBN, we have all along been issuing different guidelines and frameworks on how the banks can combat and how the industry and the country can combat the incidence of cyberattacks which in any case will continue but we just need to prepare that when they strike we are able to withstand the shock and we are able to discover it early enough for the banks not to lose money or for depositors funds not to be lost by a bank”.

Emefiele also disclosed that the bankers committee will by January 2020 start the building and development of the National Theater in to a commercial hub.

“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. We do not, we are not in the business of managing those kinds of assets,” Emefiele said.

The bankers’ committee have set aside N20 billion for maintaining and developing the National Theater.  The governor said the committee reviewed the project and set up governance to oversee the process that would lead to awarding of contract.

“We are just trying to redevelop the National Theatre and build around it, these four hubs – IT, fashion, music and Nollywood – that would help create economic activities around the National Art Theatre, and then present it as an opportunity to create jobs for people, particularly our units”.

Emefiele said the CBN will collaborate with the relevant agencies to digitize tax payment system not only for the country, but both the fiscal and monetary sides will benefit from the endeavor.

” In any case, if you want to collect taxes through a digital platform, you do not have a choice but to ensure that it passes through the banking system,” he said.

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