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July 25, 2024
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Nigeria to Link National ID with Credit Scores, Targets 80 Million Citizens

The Federal Government has said it would leverage the National Identification Number (NIN) to document the credit behaviour of every Nigerian under its consumer credit scheme.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) Uzoma Nwagba, stated this during a TV interview.

According to him, every Nigerian who is economically active would have their credit score written on their NIN.

Nwagba added that the scheme is targeting about 80 million Nigerians, who are economically active and are earning income.

He said the aim is to ensure that every Nigerian who earns a modest income is able to acquire things that can improve their lives such as a car, house, quality education, and laptop, among others, and pay for it over a long period.

The CREDICORP CEO noted that the major challenge of the credit system in Nigeria has been the lack of data and proper identity. He, however, expressed the confidence that with the NIN, every creditor will be properly identified.

“My first job is to strengthen the credit infrastructure of the country. It means that every Nigerian who is economically active will have a credit score written on their NIN so that they cannot run away from their credit behaviour,” he said.

While registration for the NIN has been slow over the years, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) recently disclosed that over 107.3 million Nigerians have been registered as of April this year.

N180 trillion credits needed annually
According to him, Nigeria needs to be doing about N180 trillion in consumer credits per annum but the banks are not willing to give out the money because they are afraid of losing it.

“The government cannot fund that. In the financial system, the people who are already doing lending today are the ones who have the capital. They have the money, they’re just afraid because they cannot put their money out there and lose it.”

“The CBN is quite a strong partner on this journey with us, as well as credit registries and credit bureaus. Once we have been able to establish the trust, the N180 million we are looking for will go away from all these flights to safety and start lending to Nigerians,” he said.

He added that the CREDICORP will also be working with all institutions that are committed to advancing consumer credits such as microfinance, fintechs, and even cooperatives. He said the Corp would enable them to do more and give them credit guarantees for specific industries and specific targets.

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