Commercial banks in the FCT have complied with Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to restrict all accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) as from Oct 31.
Officials of some banks told the News Agency of Nigeria that all accounts without BVN have been frozen from debit bank transactions.
Some of the banks visited in Garki, Abuja, were United Bank for Africa, Diamond bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Guarantee Trust bank (GTB), Zenith bank and Eco bank.
An official of First bank, who preferred anonymity, said as at Nov. 1, all accounts in the bank without BVN had been frozen.
``At the moment, any customer whose account is frozen cannot make use of any bank services, even the ATM cards will not function,’’ he said.
Another official at Diamond bank, who also spoke anonymously, said that the frozen accounts would be reactivated when the customer complete the BVN registration.
``Customers, who already have accounts without the BVN, they have to do it before they can do transactions on their accounts,’’ he said.
A customer at GTB, Mr Gabriel Ajonye, said he had done his BVN registration in another bank after which he received a message from GTB that he could update his BVN online.
Ajonye said, ``I went to the GTB link online as directed and submitted my BVN because it was convenient after which I was told the update was successful.
``I later received a message from GTB informing me that my bank account has been frozen that is why I have come to rectify the issue in the bank,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the CBN in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria, on Feb.14, 2014 launched the BVN, which is a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry.
It aims at addressing issues of identity theft, fraud, helps to fish out blacklisted customers, reduces queues in banking halls and standardises efficiency of banking operations.
The CBN said the BVN exercise was to encourage banks to grant loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and students in the country.
The deadline for the registration was set at July 31 before it was extended to Oct. 31, and the CBN directed that the deadline would not be extended.