The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it will be closing millions of bank accounts across various financial institutions not linked to a Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The CBN Director of the Risk Management Department and Chief Risk Officer, Blaise Ijebor, announced this at the recent Prembly Compliance Breakfast Dialogue.

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He said the “objective is to clean up the sector and reduce the growing incidence of fraud.”

According to him, the CBN will soon commence the exercise warning that account holders not linked to BVN will have such accounts frozen.


The BVN is a biometric technology with secure unique identifier to analyze human characteristics as an enhanced form of authentication for real-time banking or other transactions. The BVN offers the verification and validation of the customers’ identity seamlessly across multiple and interoperable electronic platforms.

As at April 9, 2023, the BVN count was 57,093,825 according to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS).

Banks are under obligation to encourage accounts holders to link their accounts to the BVN or risk having their accounts shut down, the financial regulator warned adding that the action is necessary to curtain increasing incidences of fraud.


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