Story by Kayode Tokede
The total number of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) so far issued by concerned financial service institutions in Nigeria has climbed to 40,111,528 as at December 1, 2019.
This was revealed in the latest update on BVN by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, (NIBSS) posted on its website the above implies that 49.14 per cent of the total 78.8million as at October active bank account holders are yet to register on BVN exercise of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The NIBSS had disclosed that 39,344,989 was the total number of BVN enrolment as at September 29, 2019, an indication that the number keeps increasing.
NIBSS had revealed that 37,980,579 was total number of BVN as at June 2, 2019 out of about 72,977,000 total active bank accounts as at May 2019.
The Governor, CBN, Gov. Godwin Emefiele, outline his vision and policy thrust for the next five years i Jue said, “In order to ease the constraint poor identification has on availability of credit to prospective banking customers, the CBN will support an aggressive enrollment of prospective banking customers in the informal sector onto the BVN system.
“The current enrollment of 38 million unique banking customers will be expanded to 100 million over the next 5 years. Ongoing partnership with NIMC will also enable integration between the two databases.
“This effort will improve the comfort level on banks in providing services to an expanded customer base. It will also aid in the development of a credit profile for banking customers, which will assist in improving access to credit for credit worthy borrowers by banks.”
Meanwhile, industry observers have pointed out that the figure of issued by NIBSS revealed the numerous banks customers are yet to comply with BVN mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
To address this challenge and complement the existing means of identification of customers, which include: the Driver’s License; the International Passport; the National Identity Card; and the Permanent Voter’s Card; the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, launched the Bank Verification Number (BVN) Project in February 2014.
The BVN is expected to also minimize the incidence of fraud and money laundering in the financial system, as well as enhance financial inclusion.
The implementation of the BVN initiative, which started with the customers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), has been very successful.