NIN

  • Online currency: All you need to know about CBN’s e-Naira

    The importance of technology in almost all aspects of human endeavor cannot be overstated or underrated. In the economic and financial sector, the transition to technologically aided  banking and financial transactions has led to the formation of various products and novel financial processes. 

    As a result of this massive techno-financial evolution, people can easily use debit or credit cards, withdraw and send money at Point of Sales Machines (POS) without necessarily having to use the usually crowded ATMs. 

    Furthermore,  the development in this sector seems to keep getting better as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  is also set to launch an online-based currency called eNaira. As such, we have deduced questions around the eNaira that may be of relevance to the public: What role will the eNaira play in society? And of what benefit is it to ordinary citizens?

    What is eNaira?

    The eNaira will be a digital representative of the paper Naira currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It will also  be a complementary legal tender in Nigeria, having the same exchange value as the Naira and maintaining a parity of value as the Naira. One interesting feature of the eNaira is that it will not earn any interest to the holder, and it is built on a blockchain open ledger technology. This simply implies that  you cannot have a duplicate of eNaira or a fake version of it because each note will be unique.

    How safe is the eNaira?

    If it involves money, then safety is of paramount importance. The eNaira  is designed to solve any verification risk by assuring all holders that each eNaira is a valid token. This authenticity is achieved by building the eNaira block chain that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Thus, every retailer is likely to accept the eNaira because it cannot be forged or duplicated.

    How do I access the eNaira?

    The CBN has planned a rollout in a tiered manner. First, it will issue the eNaira to financial institutions like banks. Your bank will then retail the eNaira to you. If your transaction value is  less than N50,000 a day, you don’t need a bank account to get the eNaira; you can use a NIN verified phone number to buy eNaira. If you want to withdraw more than N50,000 but up to the daily limit of N1 million, you will need a BVN in addition to a verified phone number.

    The CBN  has very strict “Know Your Customers” protocols for this process. The aim is to assure all retailers of the safety and utility of the eNaira.

    Why should I use eNaira?

    The eNaira has a low-cost advantage. The daily transfers between accounts are at no cost to the holder of the account and lower transaction cost is a massive incentive, as traders will pay no fees for withdrawals and deposits to any bank account. Thus, there will be no transaction fees but improved financial safety.

    How will dollar remittance to eNaira work?

    The eNaira will be integrated into the CBN’s forex process, and this is to make it easier to receive remittances to Nigeria. These transfers could be from the CBN crediting eNaira directly to the international Money Transfer Organisation (IMTO). So  a Nigerian abroad sending $100 to his uncle can debit his US bank account and credit $100 to an IMTO, who will buy eNaira from the corresponding bank in Nigeria. Then the  $100 is converted to eNaira instantly,  at a far lower transfer fee.  This is a real benefit and a significant advantage the eNaira will provide to customers.

    The potential of the eNaira

    Any two parties who can credit a Nigerian banking institution with corresponding currency can use the eNaira. This means a trader banking with UBA in Burkina Faso can settle  his import bills from the Gambia using eNaira. This will be the next level of the rollout for  financial institutions to build out an ecosystem with eNaira as the base product.

    Furthermore, the CBN outlines that eNaira will bring the vast majority of Nigerians who have no bank account but have a phone into the formal financial economy. The eNaira can also be used for salary payments and payments for goods and services. So an electrician can accept payment on his phone, store them in his wallet, and make transactions with any vendor.

    What are the risks?

    The eNaira is online, the BVN and NIN information is also online, so the risk of malicious actors attempting to hack or gain access to the data is very low. Even more, CBN has assured a more secured process with eNaira tokens. Overall,  it appears to be a positive progression towards a cashless  society, with lower costs and higher productivity for Nigerians.

    Conclusion

    Though the  Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has earlier confirmed the country’ s digital currency to be launched soon, the apex bank has postponed the process and is yet to announce the launch of the online Currency.  According to the Governor, the digital currency which is known as the eNaira will be the first of its kind in Africa and will soon be launched into the economy. 

    This article was produced per 2021 Kwame Karkari fact-checking fellowship in partnership with National Orientation Agency (NOA) to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Website asking Nigerians to verify NIN-SIM status is fraudulent

    Claim: A viral post on WhatsApp is asking Nigerians to verify their NIN-SIM status via a website.

    NIN-SIM verification can only be done using accredited channels including NIMC Mobile App and website.

    FULL TEXT

    A viral post on WhatsApp is asking Nigerians to verify the status of their National Identity Number (NIN) linkage with their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).

    This post tends to direct unsuspecting Nigerians to this website using a free URL shortener, bit.ly by creating a URL that contains certain keywords such as Nigeria, SIM and Checker.

    This message was shared amidst uncertainty that greeted the directive of the Federal Government asking Nigerians to link their NIN with their SIMs or risk disconnection.

    A screenshot of the forwarded-as-received message

    The message titled: “CHECK IF NIN IS SUCCESSFULLY LINK TO YOUR SIM/CHECK SIM STATUS,” reads “Check if Your NIN is successfully Link to your MTN, AIRTEL, GLO AND 9MOBILE SIM  to avoid being  block by the Federal Government  | you don’t need to go to NIMC offices to CHECK this tap link below to check | Please share this message to many groups to inform others *THANK YOU* Click http://bit.ly/Sim-Checker-Online-Nigeria.”

    A screenshot of the landing page of the website

    VERIFICATION

    Checks on the message showed that it contained grammatical errors and irregular capitalisation of certain letters that cast doubts on its authenticity.

    The landing page of the destination website also looked like the landing pages of websites earlier checked by Dubawa here, here and here.

    The landing page has a like, comment and share counter believed to be included as part of efforts to gain the trust of visitors.

    When Dubawa ran the web address of the website through Scam Doc, a web tool that evaluates the reliability of “digital identities” (email addresses or websites), results showed that the website has a 1% trust score.

    Scam Doc also revealed that the domain name is very recent (less than 6 months) and has a short life expectancy domain, adding that the domain name is linked to one or more countries known for being used by fraudulent websites.

    Further checks on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) website revealed that Nigerians have been warned not to upload their NIN on unauthorised websites and portals.

    The warning titled Fraud Alert reads in part: “Do not submit your NIN or NIN to unauthorised Apps. Beware of dubious apps collecting your NIN or BVN details. Use only apps from NIMC and clearly identifiable, authorised NIMC partners.

    “Beware of unauthorised apps asking for your NIN (e.g. NIN Linker). NIMC will never ask you to upload your BVN or NIN on any unauthorised portal!

    “Always use the NIMC website https://www.nimc.gov.ng for valid information.

    Beware of messages from people using dubious email addresses designed to resemble NIMC emails asking you to click on links to FAKE websites and upload your BVNs or NINs.

    “It is SAFER to do online pre-enrolment yourself using personal computers, internet-enabled telephones and other devices, then heading to a NIMC enrolment centre near you.”

    CONCLUSION

    Based on the warning by NIMC and the webpage analysis done by Dubawa, verification of NIN-SIM linkage using this website is false.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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