Thursday 29 October 2015

31 million bank accounts to be barred as BVN deadline ends

Bank Verification Number
Even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insisted that the deadline for enrollment on the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) set for October 31 will not be extended, there are fears that access to over 31 million bank accounts may be stopped.

Data from the CBN show that out of 52 million active bank accounts, only 20,833,635 bank customers have so far enrolled for over 40 million accounts in various banks in the country under the BVN registration exercise as of October 25.

The emerging statistical trend of the BVN registration exercise, according to the apex bank, shows that out of 52 million active bank accounts in various banks, total enrollment stands at approximately 21 million, out of which about 14 million accounts have been found linked to the BVN as of September.
“The CBN has made it clear that there would not be further extension after the October 31 deadline," a statement from the bank said.
Meanwhile, a visit to some bank branches in Lagos metropolis showed that queues have returned, but not with the rowdiness that characterise the last-minute rush of July ending deadline.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Ade Shonubi, who disclosed that banks had so far invested N8 billion in the project, said the BVN channels for easy verification for all forex transactions by bureaux de change operators (BDCs) and customers will start by November 1.

This is coming on the heels of the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all BDCs operators to demand for customers’ BVN as part of continued efforts to stabilise the forex market, stem the rampant cases of forex leakages and illicit money transfer from Nigeria.
It explained: “All banks and licensed BDCs operating in Nigeria as well as the general public are, therefore, put on notice that with effect from November 1, 2015, all customers desiring to purchase forex through all available channels in Nigeria must provide their BVN, which shall be validated by the CBN authorised forex dealer through the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System platform before the transactions are consummated."
The BVN registration being implemented in collaboration with the Bankers committee was initiated to provide unique identities for all bank customers and other users of financial services in the country.

Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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