Courtesy of the Bank Verification Number scheme in Nigeria, billions of Naira have been found to be trapped in local banks.
It is stereotypical to assume that illegally acquired funds are only stashed away in foreign banks as unclaimed billions have as well been found in Nigerian banks.
Report suggests that Nigerian lawmakers failed to address the issue of the unclaimed billions.
It is assumed that the owners had failed to register a BVN or link the suspicious accounts to existing ones where appropriate.
The Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014. The idea behind it is to protect customers’ transactions and zero down on fraudulent activities in the Nigerian banking sector.
Other BVN benefits include:
- BVN gives a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian Banking Industry (not peculiar to one Bank)
- Customers Bank Accounts are protected from unauthorized access
- It will address issues of identity theft, thus reduce exposure to fraud
- The BVN will enhance the Banking Industry chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers
- Reduce queue in Banking Halls
- Standardized efficiency of Banking operations
The biometric identification system implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria is such that the verification number works in sync with all Nigerian banks.
Hence, anyone with accounts in multiple Nigerian banks are expected to link up the accounts under a particular name. Failure to do so leaves the money in the accounts trapped.
The above explains the billions that have been discovered with no traceable owners.
With the absence of MP Abubakar Amuda-Kannike, who called the attention of Nigerian lawmakers to the unclaimed accounts, the House deferred the motion on Wednesday.
Mr. Amuda-Kannike urged the House to compel the Central Bank of Nigeria to work together with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate the suspicious bank accounts.