The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) will be frozen commencing in April 2024.
The apex bank issued a circular on Friday, December 1, instructing banks to impose a “Post no Debit” restriction, preventing clients from making withdrawals, transfers, or other debits “for all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN.”
“Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new process is satisfied. Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and no further transactions permitted,” the circular by the CBN Director of Payments System Management Department Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department Haruna Mustapha read in part.”
The apex bank further stated that by January 31, 2024, all BVN or NIN tied to accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated.
A BVN or NIN verification would be “conducted shortly,” according to the bank, who added that the measure is part of its efforts to improve financial system stability and strengthen Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.
The bank will also conduct a “comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shortly,” and if violations are discovered, suitable consequences will be imposed.
“The process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN-related information from the NIBSS’ BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases and for same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers, and all existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS’ ICAD immediately and within 24hrs of opening accounts/wallets.
“In cases where a potential customer does not have a BVN or NIN, the CBN advised the regulated financial institution to “commence the process of enrolling the individual onto the BVN database and be guided by the extant protocols issued by NIBSS” the circular read.