The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a directive imposing a “Post No Debit” restriction on all bank accounts lacking a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN), effective April 2024.
“Post No Debit” denotes a banking measure that bars customers from withdrawing funds or making transfers or any debits from their accounts, effectively freezing the account.
This directive was communicated through a circular sent by the apex bank to all deposit money banks. The CBN emphasized the necessity of electronically revalidating all BVN or NIN-linked accounts/wallets by January 31, 2024.
The circular, jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of Payments System Management Department, and Haruna Mustapha, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, aims to fortify the Know Your Customer procedures within financial institutions to bolster financial system stability.
Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for BVN has been revised to mandate the registration of all tier-1, 2, and 3 bank accounts and wallets with BVN or NIN.
The directive underscores:
– Mandatory BVN or NIN linkage for all tier-1 individual bank accounts and wallets.
– Required BVN and NIN for tier-2 and 3 individual accounts and wallets.
– Initiation of account opening by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN data from NIBSS BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases.
Additionally, the circular outlines the placement of unfunded accounts/wallets on “Post No Debit or credit” status until the new compliance measures are met.
Moreover, it specifies that from April 1, 2024, funded accounts or wallets without compliant BVN or NIN linkage will also be subject to “Post No Debit or Credit” status, disallowing further transactions.
The CBN mandates electronic revalidation of BVN or NIN for all accounts/wallets by January 31, 2024.
The circular concludes by directing compliance officers to adhere to attached guidance notes and ensures strict enforcement of restrictions on tier-1 accounts/wallets regarding transaction limits and cumulative balances.
Additionally, the CBN plans to conduct a comprehensive BVN and NIN audit and impose appropriate sanctions for identified breaches.