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BVN: Customers besiege banks, CBN rules out deadline extension

Customers on Monday besieged various banking halls in Lagos, Abuja and other cities for their biometric registration in order to get their unique Bank Verification Numbers 48 hours to the deadline for them to do so.

When our correspondent visited banking halls in Lagos on Monday, hundreds of customers seeking to do their biometric registration were seen in very long queues.

Banks visited in Lagos Island, Isolo, Ikeja and Egbeda were full of customers seeking to obtain their BVNs.

The overwhelming crowd forced the management of the branches of some of the banks to deploy more staff members for the BVN registration exercise.

As of Monday afternoon, long queues of customers seeking to obtain their BVN were still seen in several bank branches across the state.

Bank officials in Abuja, Port Harcourt and other major cities told our correspondent in separate telephone interviews that the long queues were recorded in the various branches.

About 14.6 million bank customers will be denied access to certain banking services beginning from Wednesday if the Central Bank of Nigeria goes ahead to end the registration exercise today (Tuesday).

As of last week, only 14 million bank customers had registered for the exercise.

Going by the current statistics from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, an organisation committed to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, only about 28.6 million adults in the country have bank accounts

However, the CBN said on Monday that it would not extend the June 30 deadline set for the completion of the registration of bank customers.

The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the bank would not extend the deadline because enough time had been given to members of the public to get registered.

As a result, he said effective Wednesday (tomorrow), banks would begin to deny some specific banking services to customers who lacked the BVN.

Mu’azu said, “For now, the deadline will not be extended. We have given customers enough time to do the registration. For customers who fail to register before the deadline on June 30 (today), they will not be able to enjoy some banking services, including access to loans and Internet banking services until they are able to get registered.

“The registration will continue but the penalty for failure to register within the stipulated time, which includes denying unregistered customers access to certain banking services, will commence on Wednesday.”

The CBN spokesperson reiterated that although unregistered customers would still have access to their bank accounts, they would be denied other services.

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