BVN goes abroad as NIBSS allays fears of Diaspora Nigerians over enrollment levy

In the recent past Nigerians have been inaundated with issues bothering on the ongoing Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the said 30 pounds levy imposed on the Diaspora Nigerians to be part of the project. Consequently, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said that the 30 pounds clarified issues levy was the cost of service for the exercise by Online Integrated Solution (OIS). According to NIBSS, the levy goes to the online provider, OIS, for the services being provided, maintaining that neither NIBSS nor CBN charges any amount for the service. This is however coming on the heels of dissatisfaction expressed by Nigerians living in the UK over the compulsory charge which amounts to about N10,000. “OIS is the one taking the charge and not paying us one kobo. There is nothing that comes to us in any shape, form or manner. We only said they should recover the cost. They have also agreed to go to countries where there is no Nigerian bank like China, India, two or three locations U.S, with huge locations of Nigerians”, Ade Shonubi, managing director, NIBSS said at a conference in Lagos. NIBBS also explained that the choice of Online Integrated Solution (OIS) to drive the Diasporans registration was in consideration of its global reach and previous transactions with Nigeria’s External Affairs Ministry. “the first thing we considered was legally what can be done and by whom. We did some research to find out who supports the Nigerian embassy in gathering data for visa applications, passport renewal application because by law they are covered and allowed to gather that data and under that premise we can then get them to also help us with the BVN and that is how OIS came into being”, he said. OIS is currently situated in eight locations; London, Leicester, Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi, Washington and Guangzhou, according to information on its website. Concerned about the misinformation over the Diasporas’ registrations, he said NIBSS would be proactive in information management over the exercise. Shonubi disclosed that two deposit money banks including Ecobank and Diamond bank have indicated interest to register their Diaspora customers in response to the clearance by the Central Bank of Nigeria, without breaking the laws of the country. Consequently, Ecobank would be focusing on the West African region where OIS may not reach on time, while Diamond Bank is targeting its affiliate countries. NIBSS Boss however appreciated the development as it presents another opportunity for Nigerians that are living in those areas to register on time, as the banks said the exercise would not attract charges to customers. The deadline for the BVN registration had been moved to October 31, 2015 by the CBN to allow Nigerians in diaspora register. However, Shonubi said NIBSS contract with OSI Services extends till the end of the year.