Senate yesterday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and commercial banks in the country to carry out vigorous awareness of bank verification number, BVN registration in rural areas so as to ensure that rural dwellers meet the new deadline for the exercise.
This was sequel to the motion sponsored by Senator Biodun Christine Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South) titled “Danger posed to rural bank customers by bank verification exercise”.
Olujimi expressed worry that the rural banks customers might be denied access to banking activities as “the people in the rural areas are not carry along due to the inability to access print and electronic media, etc” on the ongoing BVN exercise.
The lawmaker further noted with concern that the enlightenment/campaign awareness of BVN was limited to the educated elites and those living in the cities and towns, and called on the CBN to ensure that every Nigerian is adequately informed about the exercise.
She pointed out that the exercise required that bank customers enroll within a fixed period after which they shall no longer be able to operate their bank accounts.
The senate noted that since the BVN solution was aimed at providing a central database for the country’s bank operators, “the campaign/awareness and importance of the exercise is taken to the doorsteps of our rural areas”.
According to the upper chamber, the BVN “will help the bank system reduce situation where loan defaulters, for instance, move from one bank to the other and the banks extend new credit to them, without knowing their history, banks would be able to track transactions across all banks in Nigeria”.
Senators Salihu Hussain (Nasarawa South), Philip Gyunka (Nasarawa North), Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) and Foster Ogola (Bayelsa West) commended the sponsor of the motion and said the BVN exercise should be a continuous exercise so that all bank customers are captured.
According to Gyunka, if the exercise is restricted, many rural dwellers who are farmers may not have their fingers recognised by the BVN capture machine.
Also, Sani lamented that “most people in the rural areas are not banking friendly and should therefore be encouraged to key into the banking exercise”.
Concluding the debate, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the exercise is a laudable one that needed the support of Nigerians to succeed.

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