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Nigeria issues 700K biometric bank verification numbers between April and July

Nigeria issues 700K biometric bank verification numbers between April and July
 

Figures attributed to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicate that a total of 700,000 biometric Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) were issued to bank account holders in the country to securely link their identities to accounts, between 10 April and 10 July 2022, newspaper This Day reports.

This brings the total number of BVNs issued to 54.77 million, up from 51.7 million as of 26 December, 2022, per the report. An article by the Nigerian Tribune in April put the BVN registration figures at 54 million as of that month.

This progress notwithstanding, the NIBSS is quoted as saying the gap between the number of bank accounts and the BVNs issued is still wide.

There were 135.5 million bank accounts in the 22 commercial banks operating in Nigeria as of December last year, according to the NIBSS, meaning up to about 78.7 million bank accounts are yet to be linked to the BVN.

David Adnori, managing director of Highcap Securities Limited, told This Day that efforts have to be made to close the gap which still remains wide.

The BVN was introduced in 2014 by the CBN as a way of strengthening safety around bank accounts in the country.

It is a unique number issued to an account holder during account creation to enable the verification of their account across the banking ecosystem.

Early last year, the CBN launched an initiative to eventually replace the BVNs with digital IDs.

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