45m bank accounts not linked with BVN, 71m operating without ID — Reps
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45m bank accounts not linked with BVN, 71m operating without ID — Reps



The House of Representatives, has alleged that not less than 45.85 million bank accounts are yet to be linked after the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014, while 71 million Nigerians still operate their bank accounts without identification.

With a resolution to investigate an alleged sum of N1.2trillion collected on behalf of strategic Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which were not remitted to the Federal Government’s coffers, the House is set to investigate the infractions.

The resolution followed the consideration of a motion presented by House member, Dachung Bagos, representing Jos South, South/Jos East Federal Constituency.

As contained in the motion, Bagos noted that about 45.85 million bank accounts are yet to be linked after the introduction of BV by CBN in 2014.

The motion which stated categorically that commercial banks in Nigeria have adamantly flaunted the requirement of linking customers’ accounts to BVN, alleged that the banks have continued to hold on to the monies out of failed transactions more than necessary, against the directives of CBN and to the detriment of Nigerians.

According to the motion, Bagos submitted that the absence of legal regulatory framework and political will to deal with the unclaimed assets, “especially funds abandoned and trapped in commercial banks,” will continue to put Nigeria behind so many countries in the world that have developed the legal framework to deal with these assets.

Mentioning that a recent investigation disclosed that funds collected by commercial banks on behalf of some key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to the tune of N1.2trillion were not remitted to the Federation’s account since 2016, as required by law, he said “some commercial banks have refused to remit to the government fees and levies collected on behalf of government agencies and departments in the last 10 years.”

He said, “About seven years after the introduction of the BVN into Nigeria banking system, about 45.85 million bank accounts across Nigeria are yet to be linked to BVNs.

“Data released by the Nigerian Inter–Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) on June 23, 2021, disclosed that the total number of bank accounts in Nigeria as of May 2019 is pegged at 122.071 million.

“But the active accounts as of May, 2020 stood at 72.936 million.

“The commercial banks in Nigeria have adamantly disobeyed and continue to hold on to the monies out of failed transactions more than necessary, against the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria and to the detriment of Nigerians.

“Despite the introduction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to curb the menace in the financial sectors, about 71 million customers still use their accounts without the compulsory identification, per data from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS).

“The lack of legal regulatory framework and political will to deal with the unclaimed assets, especially funds abandoned and trapped in commercial banks, will continue to put Nigeria behind so many countries in the world that have developed the legal framework to deal with these assets.

“There was a recent disclosure about the funds collected by commercial banks on behalf of some key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to the tune of N1.2trillion.

“But they failed to remit same to the Federation’s account since 2016, as required by law.

“Some commercial banks have refused to remit to the government fees and levies collected on behalf of government agencies and departments in the last 10 years.”

“Although the Central Bank of Nigeria has the statutory responsibility of regulating commercial banks, they have failed in their responsibilities to carry out the necessary oversight.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria has not been transparent in the implementation of its intervention programmes and projects.

“CBN has also shown an almost zero level of accountability and transparency before the National Assembly in respect of funds generated both locally and internationally,” Bagos alleged.

Following the motion, the green chamber, therefore, has set up an ad hoc committee, headed by member representing Oruk Anam/Ukanafun federal constituency, Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom), to investigate the unremitted funds as well as the alleged infractions by the CBN.

[NewsDirect]


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