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Fresh statistics released by the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has presented bleak picture in the nation’s banking industry as out of the total bank accounts in the country which stood at 95.25 million, only 27.511 million were captured in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) as at November 2016.
NIBSS is the statutory custodian of banking industry data and always release updates from time to time.
The meaning of the data according to experts is that withdrawals cannot be made in any of the remaining 67.739 million accounts are still without BVN. But the report added that about 32.2 per cent of the bank accounts had been declared dormant based on their inability to provide BVN details.
But of this figure, only 64.61 million accounts are active while the number of accounts with BVN stands at 49.14 million. This shows that 48.4 per cent of total bank accounts and 24 per cent of active bank accounts in the country are still without BVN.
A banker who pleaded anonymity told Business Hilights that the policy has cleaned up the industry of money launderers and suggested that “Any account that has not up till now provided BVN and it has good money in it may belong to a money launderer who do not what to be caught to answer questions of how he or she got the money in the account”.
“You know that one of the principal targets of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in introducing the policy was to track down habitual money launderers and from the banking experience, the idea worked but the problem is what will happen to the trapped funds as their real owners may not be ready to come up for claims.
Continuing, he advised the CBN to quickly fashion out what will happen to the money trapped by the BVN as soon as possible so that some banks or bankers with fraudulent mindsets will not attempt to tamper with abandoned money in banks.
Earlier report showed that the number of accounts linked with BVN had risen from 48.14 million in October last year to 49.14 million in November 2016, the latest data given by NIBSS. However this was a considerable increase when compared to 21.2 million accounts which had been linked to BVN as at November 2015.
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