The Nigerian government is set to leverage its biometric digital ID systems to manage government loan schemes, with the National Identification Number (NIN) playing a central role in the application process.
The federal government has recently mandated using NIN when applying for student loans.
Akintunde Sawyerr, the Executive Secretary of the Students Loans Board, revealed that loan applicants must submit biographic and biometric information, including their NIN and a biometric Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The NIN is utilized to verify the applicant’s Nigerian citizenship, while the BVN ensures financial inclusion by confirming a bank account for each loanee.
A dedicated portal has been established for the student loan application process, and the system is designed to be fully automated.
”This move aligns with the government’s efforts to enhance transparency and streamline the application process for government loans,” Sawyerr said.
In November last year, a former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) advocated for the inclusion of NIN requirements for student loan applicants, emphasizing the potential benefits of increased transparency in the loan application process.
”By integrating biometric digital IDs into government loan schemes, the government aims to strengthen identity verification, reduce fraud, and ensure that financial support reaches eligible and deserving beneficiaries.
”Incorporating biometric data, along with the NIN and BVN, underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging technology for efficient and secure governance in various sectors, including education and financial assistance,” Sawyerr added.