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NIN-Bank Linkage: 85.51m Bank Customers Risk Account Suspension

NIN-Bank Linkage 85.51m Bank Customers Risk Account Suspension

About 85.51 million bank customers may not to be able to withdraw from their bank accounts by March 1, 2024, due to their inability to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts, THE FACTS findings have revealed.

Recall that data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) shows Nigeria has 146 million active bank customers (individual) as of December 2022. As of January 26, 2024, the BVN count on the NIBSS portal was 60.49 million. On NIN, about 104 million NINs have been issued as of December 2023.

And with about 24 hours to the March 1, 2024 deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for customers to link their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and/or National Identity Number (NIN) to their bank accounts and wallets, Nigerians have raised issues surrounding verifying their NIN with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The apex bank had asked banks to restrict transactions on accounts whose NIN and BVN have not been linked, starting on March 1, 2024. On December 1, 2023, the CBN declared that any bank accounts lacking NIN and a BVN will be designated as ‘Post no Debit.’

To this effect, the central bank delivered a circular to all deposit money banks that included the new directive.

The apex bank stated that having a BVN and/or NIN is required for all Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for people, even as it added that having a BVN and NIN is still required for Tiers 2 and 3 accounts as well as wallets for individual accounts.

If the deadline stands, about 85.51 million bank customers will be unable to withdraw money from their accounts.

Reacting to this development, the director-general of National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote disclosed to THE FACTS at the commission’s management retreat in Lagos that the commission saw numerous violations and unethical behaviour at NIN enrollment and modification procedures, hence, the reason it put a temporary stop to its NIN enrollment efforts for Front-End Partners (FEPs).

“My decision to direct the revalidation of all FEPs was not targeted at anyone or group. It was a step towards sanitising the system and processes while ensuring the integrity of data in the country’s identity database. Now that we have revalidated and re-issued licenses to about 96 FEPs, we believe NIN registration will be faster and secure,” she added.

She, however, posited that FEPs are crucial in fast tracking the NIN registration process.

“FEPs are the link between our citizens and the NIMC enrollment ecosystem. As you communicate with candidates, treat their information with care, accuracy, and thoroughness. Let us work together to protect our database from errors, fraud, and other threats to its integrity.

“While we welcome the expansion of our National Identity Database to over 104 million captured NINs, and targeting additional 20 to 25 million NINs registration by the end of 2024, we cannot rest on our laurels.

Millions more are waiting to be enrolled. They include students, farmers, businesspeople, and the elderly. They are the heartbeat of our country.

“Let us reach out to all parts of Nigeria, from booming cities to isolated villages. Allow us to collaborate with schools, hospitals, and community leaders. Let us ensure that no one is left behind, including the vulnerable, people with disabilities, those living in remote locations, and so on. Let us make the NIN enrollment process accessible, fast, and inclusive.”

On NIN-SIM Linkage, the executive vice chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida said NIN-SIM linkage is a process of connecting one’s NIN to his phone number to authenticate and protect his identity.

To link NIN to SIM, Maida urged telecom subscribers to submit their NIN to their respective Service Provider to complete the process of NIN-SIM linkage.

For subscribers who do not have the National Identification Number (NIN), they can obtain theirs from NIMC Enrolment Centres or their Service Providers Customer Care Centres.

“A subscriber can also link his/her NIN to his/her SIM by sending NIN- your 11 digit NIN to 996 or Dial *996* Your 11 Digit NIN# and follow the prompts. A telecoms subscriber can link his/her NIN to as many as 4 mobile phone numbers per Mobile Network.

“One major objective of linking subscribers’ NIN to SIM is to help improve and enhance national security in the country.

As a matter of critical National security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to the SIM. To this end, the Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” she said.

Meanwhile, a customer of a tier one bank in the country said she had received a message from her bank that asked her to visit the branch to rectify her BVN, but had ignored the message thinking it was a phishing email.

The message sighted by THE FACTS read: “We noticed that there is no Biometric Verification Number (BVN) linked to your account. Kindly visit any First Bank branch close to you with a valid means of Identification to update your account information with your BVN on or before 29 February 2024.

“Please note that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its circular: PSM/DIR/PUB/CIR/001/053 dated 01 December 2023, has directed that effective, 01 March 2024, all funded accounts without BVN shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and no further transactions permitted.”

Opay, a mobile money operator in the country, had posted a message on all its social media handles reading: “this is to remind you that effective March 1, 2024, all accounts without NIN or BVN will be restricted from conducting transactions on the Opay app. This complies with the CBN directive. Kindly provide the required information to continue enjoying our services.”

Some customers said they were contemplating moving their funds from accounts that have BVN/NIN issues to accounts that do not have issues, whilst some are planning to withdraw their funds so as not to be stranded.

TheFacts

Full Stack Developer, Backend And Frontend. And Also Bagged a HND in Computer Science at Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi.

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