The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made a significant decision to prevent financial transactions on bank accounts lacking a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) starting from March 2024.
GWG.ng reports that the move is part of the CBN’s strategy to enhance financial system stability.
In a circular addressed to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as other financial entities and mobile money operators, the CBN declared that such accounts or wallets would immediately be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit” until the specified requirements are fulfilled.
The circular, jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of Payment System Management Department, and Haruna Mustapha, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, stated, “Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and no further transactions permitted.”
The CBN emphasized the mandatory nature of having BVN and/or NIN for ALL Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals, while it remains mandatory for Tier 2 and 3 accounts and wallets for Individual accounts to have BVN and NIN.
To ensure compliance, the Central Bank warned that BVN or NIN associated with accounts/wallets must undergo electronic revalidation by January 31, 2024. Additionally, the CBN announced the immediate prohibition of opening new Tier 1 accounts and wallets without BVN or NIN.
A comprehensive BVN and NIN audit will be conducted, and any identified breaches will face appropriate sanctions. Financial institutions regulated by the CBN are obligated to strictly comply with restrictions on Tier 1 accounts/wallets, including transaction value limits and cumulative balances.
The new rule explicitly prohibits the manual creation of a customer profile for new customers, requiring financial institutions to electronically check BVN and NIN databases at the NIBSS and NIMC portals, respectively. The use of any ‘placeholder BVN or NIN’ for creating customer profiles is strictly prohibited and will face sanctions.