The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said on Thursday that 20,833,635 bank customers enrolled over 40 million accounts in various banks in the country under the Bank Verification Number, BVN, registration exercise as at October 25, 2015.
The BVN registration introduced by the CBN on February 14, 2014 is scheduled to end on Saturday, October 31, 2015 across the country.
Implemented in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee of the CBN, the BVN was initiated to provide unique identities for all bank customers and other users of financial services in the country.
The unique identity is established by the use of the customers’ biometrics as means of identification in all transactions undertaken with the banks.
At the expiration of the initial estimated 18 months period for the registration after the launch, there was huge apathy among bank customers, who were reluctant to register.
The poor appreciation of the benefits of the BVN resulted in last minute rush in most banking halls across the country towards the end of the June 30, 2015 deadline set by the CBN for enrolment by all customers.
The CBN extended the deadline by four months, till October 31, 2015, to allow more people register.
The extension of the deadline was to enable banks provide more facilities to enhance seamless enrolment of customers both within the country and abroad.
Statistics from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, NIBSS, show that about 20,833,635 bank customers have so far enrolled as at October 25, 2015.
Given the tradition of holding multiple accounts by an average Nigerian, the NIBSS said the total number of accounts that may have been enrolled during the period could be estimated at conservatively two or three per account holder.
This, the agency explained, could translate to over 40 million bank accounts enrolled under the BVN.
“While it can be said that some substantial efforts have been made in terms of enrolment and successes recorded, what is left therefore, is for the remaining account holders to get their accounts linked to BVN,” the NIBSS said.
During the period of the enrolment, the NIBSS said Nigerian banks’ customers in the Diaspora took advantage of more facilities provided for the exercise to register in more locations abroad.
It said that the updated information on the locations for the enrolment of Nigeria banks’ customers in the Diaspora could be accessed through: http://www.nibss-plc.com.ng/bvn/enrollment_centers.html
Noting that there has been less pressure in banking halls across the country since the commencement of the BVN enrolment, the NIBSS said this was an evidence that a greater percentage of account holders have embraced the initiative.
Although it pointed out that it was not sufficient to just enrol for BVN, the NIBSS advised bank customers to ensure that the process was duly concluded by linking all accounts owned by a bank customer to their BVN.