The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that prospective buyers of foreign currencies must show their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to banks and Bureau De Change operators before they would be allowed to do the transactions.
This directive takes effect from November 1, 2015.
In a circular posted on the regulator’s website, the policy would allow the CBN to curb the rampant cases of forex leakages and illicit money transfers out of the country.
The Apex Bank stated that the BVN will be validated by the CBN authorised forex dealer through the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) platform.
The CBN added that any authorised forex dealer that failed to provide the required information in its returns or provides a wrong BVN would be penalised, and this may include the termination of the forex dealership authorisation.
However, latest data from the CBN and NIBSS shows that about 32 million customers are yet to obtain the BVN number.
According to the statistics, out of the 20 million registered bank customers, only about 14 million accounts have been linked to the BVN as of September 2015.