With Today, November 1, 2015, being the deadline for Bank Verification Number, BVN registration, less than half of the 52 million bank customers have been registered, a development that may have started causing distress in the banking sector.
Bear in mind, Nigeria’s Apex Bank, CBN had vowed not to extend the deadline made as non-registered bank customers would be barred from accessing their money or any transaction in their account as from today.
Information gathered from an official of the apex bank says about 26 million bank customers would be affected by the shut-out.
It was learnt further that although registration window would still be opened, but unregistered customers would not be allowed access to their accounts.
The official, who claimed that the exact figures of registered bank customers would not be ready until next week, however lamented that “less than half of total bank customers have been captured as at Monday this week.
“Field reports show that there has been increased surge in the number of registrations per day since last week, but it is clear that we may not exceed 50 percent by the deadline.”
Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Jibril Aku, had said last month that bank customers who failed to meet the October 31 deadline to enroll on the BVN network will have their accounts frozen.
Aku, who spoke at the end of the 324th meeting of the bankers’ committee in Lagos, said there was no going back on the new deadline set by CBN for customers to obtain their BVN.
In a last minute rush, banks in Lagos and Ogun States were on Friday besieged by customers, to beat the deadline.
As at 7:00am, customers were seen loitering around banks in Abule-Egba area of Lagos State, pending when they will open for the day’s business.
The compulsory registration was extended by three months from June 30, 2015 to October 31 to avail thousands of Nigerians to participate in the exercise.
Meanwhile, a statement from the banking industry regulator, said some fraudsters have started sending unsolicited mails and text messages to bank customers alerting them to the deactivation or suspension of their bank accounts due to uncompleted BVN registration process as well as directing them what next to do.
The statement, signed by the Director of Communications Department, CBN, Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, read in part:
“An example of such messages reads thus: ‘Dear customer, due to the new BVN policy by the CBN, your account has been deactivated and to reactivate, call……”
CBN said those messages were intended to lure bank account holders to reveal their personal details with which the fraudsters could use to defraud them.
“The public is therefore warned that neither the Central Bank of Nigeria and deposit money banks nor their employees or agents would ever call bank customers or send e-mail/text messages requesting for passwords, card details or personal identification number (PIN).
“Bank customers are therefore, advised to personally visit their banks for any issue requiring disclosure of personal bank details,” the statement said.