‘BVN Will Check Money Laundering’
With the expiration of the deadline for Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise across the country, the Zonal Business Manager Premium Pensions Limited Lokoja, Kogi state capital Mr Abdulwahab Abu is of the view that the exercise supposed to be a continuous process.
According to him, the Bank Verification Number (BVN) was a platform designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for bank customers to harmonize accounts on a single platform.
“BVN stands for bringing about an avenue for total control of accounts. It brings about an interface between the commercial banks and the CBN to curb money laundering and excess accounts by launderers to check mate the practice of financial crimes.
“The BVN has come to create a platform for checks and balances within the banking sector.”
He said before the BVN, people could just open accounts in any bank where they log in and log out without being noticed.
He said the policy enables the CBN as a monetary agency that has the mandate to control monetary transactions in the economy to leverage on the advantages of the platform to curb excesses in the use of banking credit and banking transaction all over the country.
“So BVN does not put a limit on banking operations. The scope is broad, you can have as many accounts which use be on a single platform of a verification number which is a link to other accounts in other banks to curb excesses and monitor the flow of monetary transactions as far as the economy is concerned.
He explained that BVM was also introduced to control excess cash in circulation enhance electronic transactions adding that wherever a customer was whether in Nigeria or abroad his account could be verified against excesses anytime.
Since we are in a country where people are generally akin to innovation a lot of criticism will always follow it, many Nigerians see the introduction of BVN as another cumbersome exercise because of the time it will take to register and get the BVN number.
But once you register with Bank A it will link with the other accounts in Bank B or bank C, that means that in the format there is a place for linking your other accounts in other banks so BVN is good for depositors.”
According to him, it enhances depositors credit value saying that BVN itself is a guarantor for bank to have confidence in its client because his biometric data had been captured.
On the shortcoming of BVM he said it has to do with the fact that the exercise was supposed to be a continuous process, but a time frame was brought in as a check and balance to ensure people complied.
“To make people sit up, the deadline was given. There over 60m Nigerians with accounts used for transactions on daily bases so if there is no time limit, Nigerians may never comply.”
He explained the other shortcoming as having to do with some failures with those who have enrolled and yet they cannot have easy transactions as sometimes the ATM may not pay and in the bank they experience account error.
He said the platform required a lot of update, adding that they need to upgrade the system to capture those who have registered.
“They need a good customer structure in order to capture those who have registered to ease their transactions.”
He said: “Asking for extension was needless especially when the regulatory agency in conjunction with the banks have done a lot of sensitization and awareness about it.
“You will find out by June the exercise was billed to close but because of the outcry from Nigerians an extension was granted till October 31.
“The CBN spent a large sum in terms of adverts on daily basis on why Nigerians needed to meet up with the October 31 deadline.
The banks gave alerts to all their customers on the need for it.
In similar vein, former NBA Chairman Kogi State, Barrister Williams Aliwo said the exercise would add value to the banking system.
“What I know as a customer is that the BVN is meant to unify all accounts to overcome corrupt practices and to make transactions easier for the owners of the accounts.