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COVID-19: Techpreneurs use BVN to help vulnerable Nigerians

COVID-19: Techpreneurs use BVN to help vulnerable Nigerians

A group of tech entrepreneurs, under the auspices of Better Angels, has commenced the disbursement of funds to vulnerable Nigerians using the unique Bank Verification Number (BVN).  

The disbursement, which started over the weekend, has seen hundreds of Nigerians take to their twitter handles to commend the innovation and thank them for the timely assistance.

The group of tech entrepreneurs and innovators are from Paystack, Hygeia HMO, Zedvance, Accounteer, Future Africa, Hotels.ng, Zrosk, and Bento, launched WeAreTogether, a crowdfunded COVID-19 relief fund, over the weekend. 

According to the note from the organizers on the website, the group leveraged its network to crowd source fiscal stimulus for Nigerians.

“We are tech entrepreneurs who cannot sit by and do nothing while the world falls apart,” the group said on its site, stressing that the fund will run till December 2020 and disburse funds to Nigerians every working day. On its website is a list of hundreds of Nigerians who have already benefited over the past few days.

According to a tweet on its handle @wearetogetherhq, the relief fund receives donations from all over the world and disburses all monies received on the same day.

The BetterAngels simply require Nigerians to apply for the funds on their website, using their unique Bank Verification Numbers and their account numbers. With this information, the organisers decide if the individual falls under the category of vulnerable Nigerians and disburses the funds accordingly.

“We have a formula for determining who needs it the most and we disburse based on that formula. We are constantly tweaking it as realities change and we get more data.  

“You need a BVN and an account number to apply, decisions are made in seconds and disbursements in seconds. If deemed ineligible, please feel free to apply later, ” it said.

Why this matters

Following several donations from individuals and corporate organisations to the CBN-led CACOVID relief fund, Nigerians had called for disbursement of funds using the Bank Verification number and account numbers, for a more transparent process.

The launch of the WeareTogether fund has caught the attention of Nigerians in the diaspora who view it as a more veritable means of ensuring that the monies get to the needy.

Addressing the worry over the release of sensitive data, the group said “BVN allows us to make sure it cannot be abused (multiple requests). You are in safe hands, your data is safe. But this is absolutely mandatory data to access funds, without it we cannot establish who you are and prevent abuse.” 

 

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