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Extend BVN/NIN deadline, PoS operators tell CBN

Economic stakeholders are advocating for the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider extending the deadline for implementing its recent directives to banks, requiring customers to link their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN) to their bank accounts.

Their concerns center around the potential delay from some customers in adhering to the directive, fearing that many might wait until the deadline approaches before rushing to their banks to update and regularize their accounts.

This call for an extension stems from the banking regulator’s instruction to banks to restrict services for customers who haven’t linked their BVN and NIN.

The CBN, in a circular issued on Friday, directed all commercial banks to bar customers without BVN and NIN from having access to their accounts from March 1, 2024, by putting a ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ restriction on such accounts.

In an interview on the circular, the newly-elected national President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, Sarafadeen Fasasi, said the implementation of the directive, as well as the time attached to it, would cause unnecessary hardship on bank customers.

He said, “We agree that all bank accounts must have the minimum KYC, however, our challenge is with the urgency with the implementation and that has always been our own challenge with the Central Bank of Nigeria. We think the issue of KYC shouldn’t be an issue that should generate so much controversy and it should be gradual. It should not be an emergency. “

Fasasi urged the CBN “To meet with stakeholders and solve all the access issues so that we can spread this over a year for customers to regularise. You don’t need to freeze their accounts; you only need to instruct your service providers that they should link the NIN of their database.

“Retrieve their customers’ NIN from NIMC and retrieve their BVNs from NIBSS and marry the two. You don’t need to inflict punishment on the masses of the people.”

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