The long awaited Bank Verification Number (BVN) deadline is here, but even though the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) earlier stated that there would be no further extension of the exercise, registration is set to continue. The accounts of Nigerians who failed to meet the deadline will be temporarily blocked, however they will be able to access their accounts upon registration.

The spokesman of the CBN, Ibrahim Muazu speaking to newsmen yesterday stated that the registration exercise was generally up to mark. “[…] Deadline was successful because the awareness has been created to millions of customers and the banking halls were empty unlike the June deadline where there was chaos everywhere in the banking halls.”

BVN enrollment is CBN’s response to fraud and a way of providing greater security in the banking industry and a process intended to provide security in the banking industry, reduce queues and improve efficiency. However there have been concerns that fraudsters have been sending messages to customers regarding deactivation of their bank accounts in relation to uncompleted BVN registration.Therefore the CBN has warned that these messages are intended to lure bank account holders to reveal their personal details, which will then be used to defraud them.

In recent times, there has been a lot of fear and speculation about e-commerce systems in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that several people have been victims of fraudulent e-commerce transactions. An analysis from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) in 2014, showed a 78 percent rise in the volume of fraudulent cases between 2013 and 2014.

The compulsory registration was extended by three months from June 30, 2015 to October 31 to provide ample time enough for thousands of Nigerians to participate in the exercise. But as of the beginning of October, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that only 20 million out of the 52 million active bank accounts had been enrolled on the BVN network. Therefore this latest development comes as no surprise considering the fact that many Nigerians continued to appear reluctant to jump on the bandwagon, even at the cost of losing access to their accounts.

Here are some reactions to the proposed continuation of the BVN registration exercise:

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