A new order is in town, by the federal government to seize all accounts corporate and individual without Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and lots of Nigerians are not happy.
Below are the 5 things you should know about the new CBN/BVN policy:
- 46 million banks accounts could be affected
Data obtained by BusinessDay from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Limited (NIBSS) shows that a total of 46 million bank accounts are yet to be linked to BVN as at February 2017, the latest period for which data is available. Total bank accounts in the banking system were 97.57 million as at February 2017 while total accounts linked with BVN stood at 51.72 million, leaving a total of 46 million accounts yet to be linked with BVN – introduced in February 2014 to ensure that all bank accounts have the biometric identification of their owners.
- Owners of Accounts without BVN have only 14 days (2 weeks) to show why the money should not be seized
The banks have been given an ultimatum of 14 days to advertise accounts without BVN in a national newspaper. During this time, the owners of such accounts are expected to show cause why the money should not be forfeited.
- The CBN/BVN policy could be extended to Microfinance banks
The federal government has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the requirement for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to account holders in microfinance banks. Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s minister of Finance said this in a letter to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.
- Assets such as Treasury bills, fixed deposits among others must be linked to a BVN account
Banks to disclose any investments made with funds from accounts without BVN to the government in any product, including fixed/term deposits and their liquidation and interest incurred, bank acceptances, commercial papers and any other relevant information related to the transaction made on the account.”
- Over 15 million Nigerians living abroad will be hit hardest
No fewer than 15 million Nigerians living outside the country, especially in the US, who are yet to register for their BVN are also going to be hit hard by the CBN directive.
In 2015, according to a recent Pew Research Center report, diaspora remittance from United States to Nigeria totalled $5.7 billion.
CULLED FROM: Bussinessdayonline