A financial expert and previous Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Coronation Trustees Limited, Mrs Oghogho Osula, has said that out of 35 million Nigerians with Bank Verification Number (BVN), only 10 million can be said to be financially included.
Osula said this while addressing capital market participants at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos over the weekend.
“An estimated seven million financially under served individuals do not own bank accounts, but enjoy limited financial services through informal arrangements such as cooperatives, esusu, among others.
“It follows, therefore, that only about 42 million (42 per cent) of the estimated 100 million adult Nigerians enjoy some form of financial inclusion.”
According to her, active involvement and contributions of various stakeholders remain a prerequisite for the advancement of financial inclusion and the nation’s economic growth.
BVN policy in Nigeria
The Bank Verification Number (BVN), is a verification system that was introduced in Nigeria by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for bank customers, to increase security and prevent bank customers from illegal transactions. It is a modern security measure in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 1958, to reduce fraud in the banking system.
In February 14, 2014, the CBN in association with the corporate banks in Nigeria launched a centralised biometric identification system. All Banks were instructed to register their customers the BVN database.
BVN is a unique number for customers of banks in Nigeria with containing biometric details of customers. These biometric details include a fingerprint of all ten fingers and facial image.
A year after the launch, CBN estimated that about 12.5 million people that registered for BVNs. Since then, the Federal Government has made the obtaining of BVNs compulsory for all bank customers. In 2017, it obtained a court order seizing funds in accounts without a BVN connected.
The total number of BVN linked accounts as at May 2018 was 43,959,282.