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Students condemn UNN request for BVN pins


University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The University of Nigeria Nsukka plans to enact a BVN policy, where every student submits his or her BVN Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to the school. The school, which will be partnering with Access Bank on the project, claims that the BVN will be used in producing identity cards for every student and also serve as an ATM card.

However, the students have kicked against this policy, as they believe it to be an infringement on their rights.According to the CBN regulatory framework for BVN since October 18, 2015, the categories of participants for BVN shall be limited to only specific financial institutions and only these financial institutions shall have the right to capture, retrieve and process BVN of customers.

BVN data collection by academic institutions is a direct contravention to the CBN regulatory framework of BVN and as such could lead to legal crimes. This has brought about agitation on the parts of the students, on the grounds that the school will still have their BVN pins after graduation.

Also citing the failure of the school to keep up with a policy to partner with Access Bank to issue students ATM as ID cards in 2015, the students argued that whichever bank the school is partnering with will require students to have an account there, which also mean that the students will also be required to pay for these ATM cards.

Precious Okpechi, a 200level student of the university said the university is trying to push the computer age forward in the country, which gives the institution the high rating it deserves and also a means to globalize ICT.

“Imagine registering with your BVN, you would become a public information, UNN will now become a cyber database for anyone that has ever graduated from the school,” he said.

Emmanuella Ibe, a students of the university said she is a final year student and would be graduating next year, “what will happen when I graduate, why will the school still have my BVN when am no longer a student of the university? I think the school authorities should just drop this because they haven’t given us enough reasons as to why they would need our BVN pins.”

Also, a final year student of the institution Augustina Opkechi said, “it is not legally right, banks will always say keep your BVN to yourself alone. So, why would the school now request for it before you will be able to do registration in the school. After entrusting such detail to them, what provisions are they going to make to ensure the safety and how sure are they that the workers would not scam students?
The issue of BVN for registration is unnecessary as it lacks thought.”

In a press conference held by the schools SUG with the management of Access Bank UNN branch, the manager Osondu Kingsley said that the BVN would be used by Access Bank to produce identity cards for students, which will also serve as a prepaid card known as wallet card. He said they wish to do this as a CSR project that will be in continual, which was attracted by the Access Bank Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe, who is an Alumnus of UNN.

He further stated that BVN is just a means of absorbing identity, as NYSC, NIMS and other institutions also request it. He also emphasised that no person or institution can ever scam you by having access to your BVN or your account number, stressing that the BVN submission is not only for students alone, as it includes staffs, Alumni and salespersons in school. The school’s ICT rep also assured that the students would bear no financial or risk implications.

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