Bank officials and their customers are going through stress in order to beat Tuesday, June 30 deadline for the Bank Verification Number exercise
BANK customers, in large numbers, thronged their respective banks on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30, to beat the deadline for the Bank Verification Number, BVN, exercise. Several banks were forced to abandon other services to attend to those who wanted to do the BVN registration.
As the Tuesday, June 30, deadline drew near, there were long queues in most the banks as customers turned out in large numbers, struggling to beat the deadline. But the last two days of Monday and Tuesday, witnessed large turnout of customers who wanted to register for the BVN. There were also reports of commotions in many of the banks, stressing security guards and bank officials beyond their limits.
To avoid security breach, security agents were made to work extra hard, forcing security agents, in some cases, to fire into the air to disperse unruly crowds.
Faced with the herculean task of doing the registration, many customers have also been calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the exercise to allow them to participate.
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.
— Jun 30, 2015 @ 12:10 GMT