The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) would be frozen from April 2024.
The apex bank stated this in a circular issued to deposit money banks on Friday.
The circular was jointly signed by the Director, Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha.
According to the CBN, a “Post No Debit or Credit” will be placed on funded accounts without BVN or NIN on March 1, 2024.
The central bank also stated that all the BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.
The bank said the directive was part of efforts to promote financial system stability and strengthen the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in all financial institutions.
“As part of its efforts in promoting financial system stability, it becomes necessary to strengthen the Know Your Customer procedures in financial institutions under the purview of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Accordingly, the CBN hereby issues an amendment to Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number Operations and Watch List for the Nigerian banking industry.
“In this regard: it is mandatory for all Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals to have BVN and/or NIN. It remains mandatory for Tiers 2 & 3 accounts and wallets for individual accounts to have BVN and NIN.
“The process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN related information from the NIBSS BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases and for same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers.
“All existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS ICAD immediately and within 24 hours of opening accounts/wallets,” the circular said.
It added, “Effective immediately, no new Tier1 accounts and wallets should be opened without BVN or NIN,
“For all existing Tier1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN: i. Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on “Post No Debit or credit until the new process is satisfied.
“Effective April 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on “Post No Debit or Credit, and no further transactions permitted.
“The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.”