First posted by thisday.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday clarified that though the deadline for enrollment of the customer Bank Verification Number (BVN) elapsed on October 31, the exercise would nevertheless continue.
CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, said though the time frame given for the enrollment had lapsed, customers who are yet to be registered could still do so in order to remove the restrictions on their accounts.
He therefore advised the customers to insist on being registered by their banks, stressing: “The deadline of October 31, 2015 does not in any way suggest an end to the registration.”
The clarification from the apex bank followed complaints by some bank customers that their banks had turned them back from continuing the enrollment for the BVN due to the expiration of the deadline.
He said it would be improper for banks to turn back their customers from enrolling in the exercise.
Mu’azu also observed that many customers focused on BVN enrolment alone, forgetting that there were two stages to the BVN process, adding that the first stage was to enroll for the BVN, after which customers are expected to link their BVN to all their bank accounts.
He said an individual could enroll for a BVN without necessarily having an existing bank account, stressing that such individuals could then submit the acquired BVN at the point of opening bank account(s) in any bank of their choice.
He also said the process of linking BVN to bank accounts was now a one-stop shop to enable customers register and link their BVN from one location, irrespective of the banks in which they have accounts. All these, he said were aimed at making the process as seamless as possible.
The CBN had approved an extension of the exercise for Nigerian bank customers in the Diaspora. The bank also issued a statement clarifying the use of BVN for FOREX transactions.
He explained that the BVN was neither a payment instrument nor an account number and therefore could not be used to access any account by unauthorized users.
He said the BDCs were only required to collect the BVN of customers for the purpose of validating the identity of customers as well as making periodic returns to the CBN.
While noting that travellers from Nigeria had been submitting their BVN to buy foreign currencies from authorised dealers at the international airports, without complaints, the CBN spokesman questioned why submitting BVN to BDCs had become an issue.