The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said out of over 200 million Nigerians, only 57.4 million possess Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The apex bank had partnered with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), bankers committee and deposit money banks to launch the BVN project in February 2014.
The BVN was introduced to uniquely identify customers of Nigerian banks, reduce fraud and improve the efficiency of banking operations in the country.
Since its introduction, the BVN has become an important requirement for opening and maintaining bank accounts in the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Calabar yesterday at the 34th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Director Monetary Policy Department of the CBN, Dr Hassan Mahmoud, said: “With a total enrolment of 57,431,355 as of 31st March 2023, the BVN is supporting the development of credit profiles for banking customers, which will assist in improving access to credit for credit-worthy borrowers by banks.”
The CBN boss added that BVN has continued to feature in the bank’s Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements as part of plans to ease the constraint associated with poor identification of banking customers.
The CBN, he said, will “continue to support the aggressive enrolment of prospective banking customers in the informal sector onto the BVN system.”
Emefiele added that the Payments System Vision (PSV) 2025 was introduced “to expand payment options available to customers and strengthen regulation of the payments system.”
Speaking more about the payment system, the CBN governor noted that the apex bank uses the “payments system as a tool to achieve the financial inclusion goals of the country.”