The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it will freeze accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) beginning April 2024.
In a notice issued by the central bank on Friday, December 1, it instructed banks to establish “Post a Debit” restrictions “on all existing Tier-1 accounts/purses without a BVN or NIN” that will prevent customers from making withdrawals, transfers, and other debits.
Immediately, accounts/wallets with no deposits will be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit” until the new process is completed. “After March 1, 2024, all accounts/wallets that have been funded will be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit” and no further transactions will be allowed,” the notice by Chibuzo Efobi, head of the CBN Payment Systems Management Department and Haruna Mustafa, head of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department reads in part It states.
The CBN also said that all BVNs and NINs attached to accounts and wallets must be electronically re-verified by January 31, 2024,
According to the bank, the verification of BVNs or NINs “will be implemented soon,” adding that the move is part of efforts to promote financial system stability and strengthen Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures at financial institutions.
The bank will also “soon conduct a comprehensive BVN and NIN audit” and appropriate sanctions will be applied if violations are found.
The “account opening process will begin with the electronic retrieval of BVN or NIN-related information from the NIBSS BVN database or NIMC’s NIN database, which will be the primary information for new customer onboarding.
If a potential customer does not have a BVN or NIN, the CBN recommends that regulated financial institutions “begin the process of registering that individual in the BVN database and follow the current protocols issued by the NIBSS.”