FG to integrate credit score into NIN, targets 80 million Nigerians
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FG to integrate credit score into NIN, targets 80 million Nigerians

As a new move, Nigeria is set to embark on an ambitious initiative to enhance financial inclusion and access to credit by integrating credit scores with the National Identification Number (NIN). This move aims to leverage the NIN system to document the credit behavior of every economically active Nigerian, targeting approximately 80 million individuals.

At the heart of this endeavor is the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP), tasked with strengthening the country's credit infrastructure. According to CREDICORP's CEO, Uzoma Nwagba, every Nigerian with an income will have their credit score tied to their NIN, preventing them from evading their credit responsibilities.

The integration of credit scores with NIN seeks to address the long-standing challenges of data scarcity and inadequate identification in Nigeria's credit system. With the NIN in place, creditors will have a reliable means of identifying borrowers, mitigating risks associated with lending.

Nwagba emphasized that Nigeria requires an annual consumer credit flow of around N180 trillion, a figure that banks have been reluctant to provide due to concerns about potential losses. However, with the establishment of trust through the NIN-credit score integration, CREDICORP aims to unlock this capital and facilitate lending to Nigerians.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), credit registries, and credit bureaus are collaborating closely on this initiative. CREDICORP will also work with microfinance institutions, fintechs, and cooperatives, enabling them to expand consumer credit offerings and providing credit guarantees for specific industries and target groups.

While the integration of credit scores with NIN presents opportunities for financial inclusion, concerns have been raised regarding data privacy, security, and the potential misuse of credit information. Robust safeguards and stringent data protection measures will be crucial to ensure consumer rights are upheld.

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