From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja


In order to include Nigerians residing abroad, Clement Osuya, President of the World United Consumer Organisation (WUCO), has urged the federal government to extend the deadline for linking the National Identity Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).


In a statement, Osita criticised the central bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) deadline for the new policy and stated the instruction ignored the particular difficulties faced by Nigerians residing outside.


The head of WUCO encouraged the CBN to collaborate with banking institutions to develop alternate procedures and remote access techniques so that Nigerians living abroad can link their NIN.


According to him, “It does not provide adequate provisions for those with remote access to their funds. Additionally, it does not offer any viable means for Nigerians living abroad to link and obtain their NIN.


“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set a deadline of January 31, 2023, for Nigerians to link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their bank accounts. However, this requirement significantly burdens Nigerians, especially those residing abroad, as it mandates them to visit enrollment centres for biometric capture at NIN centres physically.


“This presents substantial logistical and financial challenges for diaspora Nigerians. Compliance with the NIN registration deadline has been made exceedingly difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions, further exacerbating the struggles of diaspora Nigerians.


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“It is imperative to highlight that over 70 million accounts are at risk of being blocked if they are not linked with the NIN. Yet, there are no explicit provisions for remote linkage or alternative processes for Nigerians in the diaspora. This lack of consideration for the diverse circumstances of Nigerian bank customers, especially those residing outside the country, is deeply concerning.


“The World United Consumer Organization demands an immediate review of the prevailing directive and calls upon the Central Bank of Nigeria to introduce robust and accessible means for Nigerians outside the country who do not have a National Identification Number (NIN) to link their NIN to their accounts.


“The Central Bank must prioritise the concerns of Nigerians in the diaspora to ensure fair and inclusive compliance with this directive, as the diaspora’s contribution to capital importation into Nigeria is critical to the country’s financial inflows, which have significantly impacted the Nigerian economy.


“We urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to collaborate with financial institutions to create remote access methods and alternative procedures for diaspora Nigerians to link their NIN. These measures would ease the logistical and economic burden on Nigerians living abroad while ensuring the integrity of the national identification linkage directive.


“In conclusion, regulatory authorities must acknowledge Nigerians’ varied needs and challenges, both within and outside the country. These considerations must be incorporated into implementing critical directives.


“The World United Consumer Organization remains dedicated to advocating for the just and impartial treatment of Nigerian customers in the financial sector, both within and outside the country and to incorporating these considerations into implementing critical directives.


“The World United Consumer Organization remains committed to advocating for the fair and equitable treatment of all Nigerian customers in the financial sector.”