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Outrage As Federal Government Tells Nigerians To Re-Register Their Bank Accounts Despite BVN

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The federal government of Nigeria, on Thursday, announced that every account-holder with financial institutions must undergo a self-certification process.

The federal government announced this on its official Twitter handle.

Account-holders are required to obtain, complete and submit the self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The federal government said individuals who hold accounts in different financial institutions would have to collect and submit separate forms to each one of the institutions.

The tweet read:

INFORMATION:

This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 17, 2020

Three categories of forms for entities, individuals and controlling person (individuals having a controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) are said to be available

“The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019,” it said.

“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.”

Details of the difference between the self-certification process and the bank verification number (BVN) and national identification number (NIN) are still sketchy at the moment.

While the BVN is a prerequisite to owning a bank account, the NIN is a prerequisite for getting an international passport.

Currently, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is harmonising the NIN and BVN and has set a five-year target to register all Nigerians.

This new step came after the NIMC obtained a $430 million World Bank loan for the Nigeria digital identification for development project.

In May, Aliyu Aziz, the NIMC director-general, said 14 million BVN had been harmonised with NIN.

Following the Federal Government’s announcement, Nigerians on social media have started reacting with many demanding for an e-option considering the COVID-19 pandemic.

See some tweets below:

“Dear @NigeriaGov, what is this about please and why is it being put in place? Your communication does not provide sufficient information and, as currently communicated, seems like another never-ending verification exercise that will frustrate the public for little or no gain,” @DrJoeAbah tweeted.

“There is COVID outside but as part of government’s effort to ensure your safety, we now have a great idea that’d require Nigerians in their tens of millions going from bank to bank to do this self-certification that’d ensure national prosperity & food security for all by 2023.

“If there was something called “Bank Verification Number” that would have totally made this whole procedure unnecessary. But since BVN is alien to human civilisation, let’s do something that looks almost like it. To be frank, this is such an innovative and extraordinary government,” @Omojuwa tweeted.

“Poor communication technique, very poor. Where’s a date and deadline to work with?, what exactly is this new development for? Can’t BVN play it’s role? What incentive have you provided for ease of doing this? Are we to march to the banks? This is not 1922!!” @rosemary_emeuno tweeted.

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