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BVN registration hits 61.16 million as CBN deadline approaches

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Registration for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) increased to 61.16 million as of March 15, 2024.

This was revealed in the latest BVN registration data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). ThePressNG had earlier reported that as of January 26, 2024, the BVN database stood at 59.9 million.

This shows that a total of 674,280 new registrations for BVN were recorded between late January and mid-March this year.

While registration for the number had been slow throughout 2023, the recent announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that all bank accounts without BVN would be frozen from April 2024, might have contributed to the increase in registrations.

In December last year, the Apex bank also directed commercial, merchant, non-interest, payment service banks, other financial institutions, and mobile money operators, through a circular that the BVN or National Identification Number, NIN, attached to all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.

Source: NIBSS

While the figure of active bank accounts as of 2023 is yet to be released, the latest data released by the NIBSS shows that active bank accounts in the country stood at 151 million in 2022, a 13% growth when compared with 133.5 million active bank accounts recorded in 2021.

At the end of the same year, BVN registration stood at 56 million, which showed a very wide gap between the number of accounts and BVN owners.

However, industry analysts believe that the difference may not be much because multiple accounts can be linked to a single BVN.

According to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2023 Survey report, 5% (3 million) of banked adults do not have a BVN or NIN.

The CBN in December last year announced that it would freeze accounts without a BVN and National Identification Number (NIN) from April 2024.

In a circular by the apex bank, it instructed banks to place a “Post no Debit” restriction – which prevents customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits “for all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN”.

‘Post No Debit’ is a term used to describe a restriction imposed by banks on specific accounts, preventing customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits from such accounts.

This measure effectively freezes the funds in the account, rendering them inaccessible for the duration of the restriction.

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