Huge crowd besieged banking halls on Monday, as customers moved to link their Bank Verification Numbers and National Identity Numbers to their bank accounts.
This followed the new directive of the banking regulator to the banks on Friday, to bar customers who were yet to link their BVN and NIN from having access to their accounts.
CBN said in its new directive that existing customers must, “Ensure all operated accounts/wallets created through agents, are fully profiled in the NIBSS ICAD and tagged with valid and correct BVN and/or NIN.”
It added that, “Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post no debit or credit’ until the new process is satisfied.
Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post no debit or credit’ and no further transactions permitted.”
Post no debit is a term used to describe a restriction imposed by banks on specific accounts, preventing customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or debits from their accounts.
While observing customers’ response to the new directive, The PUNCH saw large customers at the Ojodu/Berger branches of Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and First Bank, who came to link their NIN to their bank accounts. The queues at GTBank remained long as of the time our correspondent left the bank.
An official of First Bank, Akure, Ondo State, who pleaded anonymity, said there was more crowd in the bank than usual.
“There are more people in the bank today to do one thing or the other, most especially the connection of their Bank Verification Number,” he said.
A senior official of a Tier-1 bank in Lagos in an interview with PUNCH said, “The truth is that many banks will find it difficult to cope with the anticipated rush as we have lost several key employees to the Japa syndrome. Besides, the banks had embarked on staff rationalisation to keep the operating expenses low.”
A branch manager of a new generation bank, also in an interview with PUNCH, said if the rush of customers without BVN and NIN was much, the lender would have no choice but to extend the working hours for its employees, and might consider working on Saturdays and Sundays to clear the backlog.
Latest Data obtained from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System showed that over 75 million bank accounts could be restricted or outrightly blocked as only 59 million BVN was registered as of October 9, 2023.