Come Wednesday July 1, 2015, Deposit Money Banks will start denying about 14.6 million customers access to banking services.
The Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) attributed it to their failure to obtain the compulsory Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs).
The BVN initiative which commenced in February 2014 obliges customers to do biometric registration and obtain BVN; a unique number for proper identification.
This will also help banks identify customers through their fingerprints. Each bank customer’s fingerprint is linked to a unique number.
According to the Bankers’ Committee, the exercise closes officially on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
The committee disclosed that as at June 11, 2015, 14 million customers had been registered under the BVN project.
According to the Punch, statistics from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access shows about 28.6 million adults in the country have bank accounts.This figures implies that about 14.6 million bank customers are yet to obtain BVNs.
Statistical analysis from the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria also indicates that the number of bank account holders (individuals, including children, and organisations) has reached 76 million in contrast to the official population of 170 million people in the country.
“We also discussed the electronic banking space. In the area of BVN, we have done 12.5 million customers and this is a substantial mileage. There is still a need to close the gap before the deadline of June 30 and any customer that hasn’t done so will not enjoy banking services’’ Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Phillips Oduoza said.
Naij.com gathered that customers now engage in last-minute rush to register for BVN before the deadline elapses.
While long queues have surfaced in banks, some market women and petty traders interrogated by this medium however, claimed they are unaware of the policy.
Though the committee stated it is important to close the gap before the scheduled deadline, there was no indication the deadline would be extended as at when this report was compiled.
The committed in collaboration with the CBN seem set to wield the big stick this time as any customer who fails to obtain BVN will be denied banking services from Wednesday, July 1, 2015.