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68.238m active bank accounts yet to get BVN

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Registration and linking of Biometrics Verification Number (BVN) in the Nigerian financial sector is still moving at a slow pace despite its importance to the providing financial solution and inclusiveness in the country.

As at September 6, a report by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NBISS) showed that total bank accounts so far linked to the BVN stood at 43.32 million.

Checks by Business Metrics however showed latest statistics also by NiBBS puts total active bank accounts in the country at 111.538 million which leaves much to be desired in terms of active accounts still yearning for BVN.

This shows that, conservatively, more than 68.238 million functional accounts are yet to be linked to the BVN of their owners, representing 61.18 per cent of total active bank accounts in the Nigerian banking system.

Recall that in November last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had pledged to increase the figures of bank customers enrolled on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) system from 38 million to 100 million by 2024.

The apex bank said increase in BVN enrollment would address the constraint that poor identification has on the availability of credit to prospective banking customers, particularly, those in the informal sector.

While the current number of linked account is a short fall from the target set by the CBN, it is an improvement from about 36 million captured in the last one year.

The number of new account opening and enrolment on BVN platform by bank customers was attributed to the increasing number of customers opening new accounts and those regularising delinquent accounts following the challenges they faced at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business Metrics reported that in the last one year, between January and May this year, total bank accounts have grown by 28.19 per cent from 124.848 million in December to 160.038 million in May.

Similarly, active account profile has surged within the period by 40.69 per cent from 79.28 million in December to 111.538 million in May, this year.

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