The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) has reported that 9.1 million Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) are inactive in various banks nationwide as at December 31, 2019.

A report just published by the NIBSS indicated that out of the 40.4 million total BVN enrolments, only 31.3 million BVNs remained in all banks as the end of last year.

The NIBSS report also showed that Nigerians abandoned 300,000 bank accounts in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1’20). The data showed that the number of inactive bank accounts rose by 0.7 percent or 300,000 to 45.87 million in Q1’20 from 45.57 million in Q4’19. The number of current accounts operated by bank customers also declined by 1 million during the period.

This represents a deceleration in the rate of bank account exits as compared to the 2.2 percent decline recorded in Q1’19.


The data also showed that the number of savings account in Q1’20 grew QoQ by 19 percent to 113.95 million from 95.92 million in Q4’19 and up YoY by 28 percent from 89.1 million in Q1’19. Quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), the number of bank accounts rose by 15 percent to 143.19 million in Q1’20 from 124.85 million in Q4’19 and up year-on-year (YoY) by 18 percent from 120.92 million recorded in Q1’19.

Further analysis showed that the number of current accounts QoQ dropped by 4 percent or one million to 24.28 million in Q1’20 from 25.28 million in Q4’19 and down by 15 percent or 4.3 million from 28.56 million in Q1’19.

The data on ATM operations showed a total number of 17,518 ATMs as at December 2019, with a total transaction volume of 839.8 million valued at N6.5 trillion between January to December 2019.

Investigations by Daily Trust on the report did not show immediately why those BVNs remained inactive but experts linked some of them to possible death of the owners, and inability to service the accounts as a significant number of bank accounts are now dormant based.


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