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As the CBN’s BVN/NIN deadline expires, over 91 million bank accounts could be deactivated

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Approximately 91 million bank accounts could be frozen as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set a deadline of March 1st for linking bank accounts with the National Identity Number (NIN) or Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Commercial banks were instructed by the CBN to limit tier-1 accounts that lacked appropriate BVN or NIN connectivity.

The regulation, which was released on December 1, 2023, said that unfunded accounts were to be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit” right away, while funded accounts would be subject to the same restriction starting on 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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