BVN Registration Deadline Extended

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Godwin Emefiele

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Faced with the unprecedented number of persons yet to register, the Central Bank of Nigeria, extends the exercise to October 31

THE Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the deadline for the Bank Verification Number, BVN, to October 31, this year. The CBN, in a statement signed by Dipo Fatokun for director, Banking and payment system said that the extension was necessitated by the “tremendous interest from the Nigerian banks’ customers who crowded the banking halls, in order to beat the deadline.”  The apex bank said the extension would allow Nigerian Banks’ customers in diaspora, ample time to take part in the exercise. “The guideline for their enrolment is being finalised and will be released soon,” the statement said.

The bank expressed the hope that the extension would allow for a smooth completion of the registration exercise.

In the last three days, most of bank halls across the country had been inundated with anxious customers struggling to do their BVN to beat the original June 30 deadline. The customers besieged their various banks in large numbers, thereby forcing banks to abandon other services to attend to those who wanted to do the BVN registration.

The registration exercise was especially rowdy on Tuesday, June 30, with customers forming long queues and sometimes restive in their anxiety to get registered. In the commotion, there were reports that some security agents had to fire into the air to disperse unruly crowds.

Faced with the herculean task of handling the unprecedented large numbers of people, many bank officials and customers called on the CBN to extend the exercise.

A senior bank official who not want his name in print because he is not authorised to speak on the issue, said the exercise be made an on-going one, which would require account holders to effect the biometric details, whenever they show up for transaction on their respective accounts.

“We cannot afford to close accounts of customers just because they fail to meet the deadline for the BVN. That would create confusion and disruption in the system… It would be punitive on defaulting customers if the threat to shut down on their accounts is carried out,” he said.

About 14.6 million bank customers will be denied access to certain banking services beginning from Wednesday, July 1, if the CBN should go ahead to end the registration exercise today on Tuesday, June 30, as directed.

Onyekachi Ubani, a lawyer and human rights activist, said it was unfortunate that Nigerians preferred fire brigade approach to doing things. He expressed optimism that the CBN would be extended the registration period to allow for those who have not done it to do so in no distant future.

Please be guided and ensure strict compliance. You would recall that as part of its efforts in the implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) Project, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued circulars stipulating milestones for the successful completion of the Project. One of such milestones was that by June 30, 2015, all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) customers should have the BVN. Any bank customer without the BVN attached to the account would be deemed to have inadequate requirement with respect to the Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines.

—  Jun 30, 2015 @ 17:15 GMT

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