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Over 91 million bank accounts at risk of deactivation as CBN’s BVN/NIN deadline expires

As the March 1 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the linkage of bank accounts with either the Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identity Number (NIN) expires, approximately 91 million bank accounts face the risk of being frozen.

The CBN had directed commercial banks to restrict tier-1 accounts without proper BVN or NIN linkage.

The directive, issued on December 1, 2023, outlined the immediate placement of unfunded accounts on ‘Post No Debit or Credit,’ with funded accounts scheduled to face the same restriction effective March 1, 2024.

Banks intensified efforts over the weekend, sending final reminders to depositors to utilize digital platforms or visit branches for the necessary BVN/NIN linkage to avoid the potential freezing of their accounts.

The directive further stated that the BVN or NIN associated with all accounts must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.

While the CBN has not officially clarified the consequences for customers failing to comply with the BVN/NIN linkage, banks have warned that non-compliance could result in the inability to carry out transactions.

Panic has ensued among depositors, leading to frequent bank visits as customers strive to update their account information before the March 1 deadline.

As of January 26, the Nigeria InterBank Settlement System (NIBSS) reported that BVN-linked accounts stood at 60,492,104 million.

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