By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced its decision to commence the freezing of bank accounts without the Bank Verification Number (BVN).
This is contained in a circular issued by the apex bank and sent to all deposit money banks (DMBs) on Friday.
The regulatory bank said “Post no Debit” (PND) restriction would be placed on affected bank accounts without the BVN and National Identification Number with effect from April 2024.
PND is a financial parlance, 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 their accounts.
PND prohibits account holders from accessing funds in affected account while the process lasts.
The Central Bank also stated that all the BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with AL accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.
The circular was jointly signed by the Director, Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha.
Introduced in 2014 to uniquely identify customers of Nigerian banks, reduce fraud and improve the efficiency of banking operations in the country, CBN said out of over 200 million Nigerians, only 57.4 million possess Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The apex bank had partnered with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), bankers committee and deposit money banks to launch the BVN project.
Since the Feb. 2014 introduction, the BVN has become an important requirement for opening and maintaining bank accounts in the country.