Uproar over Banks’ Self-Certification scheme
An uproar of sorts has greeted news of the introduction of a new Banks’ Self-Certification scheme in Nigeria.
This is coming on the heels of a statement credited to the Government of Nigeria and asking bank customers to go to their banks to fill and return self-certification forms that would give the authorities information about them.
The notice has sparked a flurry of reactions on social media with commentators querying the rationale behind this move, given that the system already has an avalanche of data on citizens, and in particular, bank account holders that it can draw upon. Some of these identification modes being referred to include the Banks Verification Number, BVN, the National Identity Number, the Permanent Voters Card, PVC, the National Drivers License, the International Passport and the GSM SIM Registration.
Another point being raised by critics of the policy is the fact that the directive is almost literally compelling millions of bank customers to make physical trips to banking halls all over the country at a time when the national and global health policy is to discourage too much mingling in the public space.
Equally, there is concern over how the very many citizens of Nigeria who reside outside the country at the moment but have and maintain accounts in the country would return to re-certify their accounts within this period.
Financial sector watchers also note that policies of this nature could also have the unintended consequence of triggering off a run on the nation’s banking system.
Holders of policies in the insurance sector are also affected by the policy directive.
Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele