Following the June 30 deadline for registration of Banks Verification Number (BVN) as given by the Bankers’ Committee chaired by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), about 16.1 million customers of Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria will be denied banking services from Wednesday, July 1.
The Bankers’ Committee, which comprises the bank CEOs under the chairmanship of CBN, had given June 30, 2015 as the deadline for all customers to do their biometric registration and obtain their BVNs.
The BVN project, which commenced in February 2014, will officially close on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
The committee however, said that as of June 11, 2015, only 12.5 million customers had been registered under the BVN project.
According to current statistics from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, an organisation committed to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, only about 28.6 million adults in the country have bank accounts.
This means that 16.1 million bank customers have yet to do their biometric registration and get their BVNs.
The BVN project will help the banks to identify their customers through their fingerprints. Each bank customer’s fingerprint is linked to their unique number.
It is aimed at checking fraud in the banking system, boost retail or consumer credit, and also enhance economic growth.
Mr. Phillips Oduoza, Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, confirmed after the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja about three weeks ago, that only about 12.5 million bank customers had been registered since the exercise began.
Oduoza called on those who were yet to register for the BVN to do so before the expiry of the June 30 deadline, declaring that customers who failed to do so would not be able to enjoy banking services.
He said, “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 need to close the gap before the deadline of June 30 and any customer that hasn’t done so will not enjoy banking services.
“So, we are urging customers to enrol so that they will continue to enjoy unhindered banking services.”
He noted that by the end of this month, those that had yet to get their BVNs would not be able to have access to credit, enjoy foreign exchange and conduct Internet banking services.
A few weeks ago, Mr. Ade Shonubi, Managing Director, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc, the organisation driving the biometric registration process, had said it was unlikely that the Bankers’ Committee would extend the deadline.