" />
Published On: Sun, Nov 5th, 2017

Fresh anxiety over BVN as banks protest new CBN threats


A recent October 17, 2017 High Court judgment in Abuja, FCT, requiring the freezing of all over 40 million customer accounts that do not have bank verification numbers (BVNs) has unsettled several deposit money institutions (DMBs) as the implications of the order may begin to have severe consequences for bank liquidity. Indeed with several banks struggling with growing non-performing loans (NPL’s) beyond the statutory threshold of 5 per cent, the added burden of disappearing retail deposits could drag the sector into a financial tailspin according to analysts.

A published report by the CBN shows that at least 46 million accounts are yet to obtain bank verification numbers three year after the exercise began. Business Hallmark investigations reveal that for eign and local bank customers have begun to pile increasing pressure on the central bank to get the registration deadline extended.

In a telephone interview with the Director General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, he was quick to take side with the government, saying that, when the government says it would freeze accounts, what it means is a clear cut plan which is targeted at different components of deposits with banks. By this, is meant that there are standard and legitimate accounts while there are others which are illegal. The illegal accounts Yusuf notes are those the government intends to seize, according to Yusuf,’ with the current enthusiasm of government, those ill-gotten monies will be recovered and put back in the treasury’.

Speaking on cash liquidity and how it could affect banks in respect to lack of adequate funds to trade with, Yusuf cautioned that one should not make a mole out of this in that the accounts in question, i.e. without BVN is not worth anything in terms of monetary value compared to what would be left behind as owned by customers with BVN. He further queries, “How much is the money we are talking about?” Besides, the CBN has a monetary policy system to deal with any likely liquidity and by extension, stabilise the 19 commercial banks that are mostly affected. In this case, Mr Yusuf was likely not aware of the number of bank customers yet without BVN, which the CBN puts at 46 million. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, OkoiIbono-Obla recently said that the number of accounts yet to be linked through BVN was embarrassing. This fact sharply contrasts the opinion of Yusuf who believed that even if the government seized all accounts without BVN, it would be nothing compared to the accounts still operational in banks.

READ  BREAKING: Soldiers gun down suicide bomber in UNIMAID


Total Bank Customers Customers With BVN Customers Without BVN Non-Banking Population
70.18 Million 24.18 Million 46 Million 60 Million[1 of 5 Adults]


Figures available to Business Hallmark show that two thirds of total bank accounts in Nigeria have no BVN. Meanwhile, 26 million of this total is considered dormant. Only one out of every five adult Nigerian has a bank account, which means that a total of 60 million Nigerians are without accounts.

Rising criticisms from a variety of quarters have since trailed the federal government’s decision to seize accounts that do not have BVN numbers; while some say analysts have described the measure as drastic and stringent, others have described it as fair especially given the repeated extensions of the deadline date. Among the many critics of the government’s policy is a human rights activist and lawyer, Barrister Ebun-Olu-Adegboruwa, who has taken to social media where he has criticized the government.  In two titles relating to the BVN/ forfeiture issue He titled one, “Illegal Forfeiture of Bank Accounts”, and the other, “Interim Order of Forfeiture of Money in All Banks Is Illegal ”

READ  Charges against CCT Boss:  FG queries Magu, Keyamo over corruption

According to Adegboruwa , ‘I am very well concerned about how we deploy interim orders for permanent purposes, such as to forfeit valuable assets, without any or fair hearing from the person(s) concerned.”  He further noted that it was improper to obtain interim orders to freeze bank accounts of estates that are in dispute between the beneficiaries, if estates of deceased persons are still being contested.

Adegoruwa posed two salient questions, first, ‘do they have locus on the various banks’ accounts that they want to forfeit, to which they are not signatories or have any interest?’ and second, ‘Section 6 of the Constitution creates our courts to resolve disputes. So, what is the dispute in this matter and between whom?’

As the issue continues to simmer in the public space a growing number of bank customers have written to their local banks to regularize their accounts and provide BVN numbers top avoid having such accounts seized by the Central Bank, especially as regards bank accounts owned by Nigerians in the diaspora.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Stop paying dividends, CBN orders banks with huge bad loans

    Banks and discount houses with non-performing loans above 10 per cent will no longer be allowed to pay dividends to their shareholders. The Central Bank of Nigeria gave the directive as part of measures to curb the increase in non-performing loans and to stop further erosion of the capital base of the banks. The directive […]

  • All recovered assets will be sold, says Buhari

    President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that all mismanaged and misappropriated national assets recovered will be sold off. In a statement issued on Monday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Mr Garba Shehu, he also vowed to ensure that the proceeds of the sales are paid to the treasury for the benefit […]

  • Ortom explodes! Says attacks by herdsmen, a continuation of Uthman Danfodio’s 1804 jihad

    Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has described the ongoing killings by Fulani herdsmen in the state as a continuation of 1804 jihad by Uthman Danfodio, alleging that the Fulani are angry because the initial jihad led by Danfodio was halted in Benue and prevented from proceeding to the sea. The governor who bared his […]

  • Drug abuse is on increase among youths

     Frustrated and humbled by increasing difficult economic conditions, pervasive social anomie, breakdown of age-old value system and discipline, most youths now find solace in drug abuse, writes Adebayo Obajemu  Fadairo [not real name] is 24, at that age, his physical appearance is that of a man in his thirties, slurred and incoherent speech, hanging jaw, […]

  • 2019: Can the Jagaban save Buhari?

    Challenges for Tinubu over the re-election bid By Obinna Ezugwu On Tuesday last week, pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari posing with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Bisi Akande, interim national chairman of the party filled the country’s media space. Both Tinubu and Akande had gone to […]

  • Kings of Broad Street: GT, ZENITH, UBA, ACCESS

    BY OKEY ONYENWEAKU As the banking industry gets tighter with narrowing operating margins and tougher competition for retail customers, the big four financial institutions are revising their strategies and setting up camp to fight an unconventional warfare. The new terms of engagement are moving from terrestrial combat to digital battlegrounds. ‘Banks will increasingly need to […]

  • Massive sell-off hits insurance sector

        FELIX OLOYEDE As the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) changes its rules about the maximum price that stocks could dip below their nominal book values of 50 kobo per share, Insurance sector stocks since last week have taken a free fall. David Adonrin, managing director, Highcap Securities Ltd has been holding Royal Exchange Insurance […]

  • War has been provoked between Yoruba and Fulani- OODUA Redemption Alliance declares

    War has been provoked between Yoruba and Fulani- OODUA Redemption Alliance declares OBINNA EZUGWU At the end of its security summit held in Ibadan on Thursday, the OODUA Redemption Alliance resolved to end what it called gradual incursion into Yoruba land by herdsmen who they accused of continuing the Jihad of Usman Danfodio. The group […]

  • It would be utterly irrational for Nigerians to vote for Buhari again- Junaid Mohammed

    Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed has noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has performed poorly in office and it would be irrational for Nigerians to vote for him in 2019. Dr Mohammed who made the assertion in an interview with Vanguard on Saturday, also criticized Buhari for being a poor reader who according to him, […]

  • Bayelsa tour: Obasanjo lays foundation for refinery

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo continued his visit to Bayelsa State after inaugurating some projects of the state government on Friday. The former president continued his tour of the state on Saturday with the laying of the foundation for the establishment of Azikel Refinery. The refinery is owned by Dr Eruani Godbless, a prominent businessman and […]

  • Quite notice, hate speeches and President Buhari’s Northenisation/Islamisation agenda by Professor Ben Nwabueze

    Quite notice, hate speeches and President Buhari’s Northenisation/Islamisation agenda by Professor Ben Nwabueze NATURE OF HATE SPEECHES In the aftermath of the divisions in the country caused by President Buhari’s Northernisation/Islamisation Agenda, as manifested in his lopsided strategic appointments that unfairly favour the North as against the South, and the complete exclusion of the South-East […]

  • Chief Adeniyi to Tinubu: Withdraw your support for Buhari or risk losing influence in Yoruba land

    OBINNA EZUGWU Veteran columnist and elder statesman, Chief Adetola Adeniyi has warned former Lagos governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu against supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid, as according to him, such could mark the beginning of the end of his influence in Yoruba land. Chief Adeniyi who led the Global Intelligentsia for Buhari, a […]

  • Killings: Buhari condemns action, sends Defence Minister to Zamfara

    President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly condemned Thursday’s massacre of innocent persons in Birane village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. The President stated this in a statement issued on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, following the death of at least 18 persons as a result of […]

  • Obasanjo visits Jonathan at Bayelsa residence

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday visited former President Goodluck Jonathan at his home in Bayelsa State. Dr Jonathan welcomed the elder statesman who was in his home for a private dinner, in company with his wife, Patience. Earlier before the visit, former President Obasanjo inaugurated a government specialist hospital in the state and unveiled […]

  • NNPC dispatches 29.058m litres of PMS to 13 states

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it supplied a total of 29.058 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to thirteen Northern states in three days. In its report on daily dispatch to filling stations made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, it named […]

  • Lagos will bring about world class childhood disability intervention-Joyce Onofowokan

    An area in which different levels of governments in Nigeria have remained loudly silent and painfully indifferent is childhood disability. Children with disabilities and their parents have over the years ridden on waves of disillusion, despair, and decay. They constitute a tribe of the silent minority that the society has conveniently allowed to disappear into […]