Nigerians condemn FG’s self-certification for bank account holders

Nigerians on social media are kicking against the latest decision of the federal government to get citizens’ self-certification biometrics.

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Yesterday’s evening, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in a statement announced that the self-certification exercise is compulsory for every Nigerians who owns and operate accounts across financial institutions in the country.

It said Nigerians who own multiple accounts across banks must physically visit each of the financial institutions, obtain, fill and submit the forms which will be received from them.

A similar directive, Bank Verification Number (BVN) introduced years ago is yet to be fully complied with by majority of Nigerians. As of 29 December 2019, only a little over 40 million active bank accounts were linked to a Bank Verification Number (BVN), while about 80 million bank accounts exist without BVN according to data from Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

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“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions,” the Twitter handle of the government announced.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.

“The self-certification form is in 3 categories: – Form for Entity – For Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) – Form for individual.

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“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account. For more enquiries visit
@firsNigeria website (http://firs.gov.ng) for more details,” it added in the statement.

Condemning the decision of the government, Nigerians were querying which biometrics the government was looking for that are not on the National Identify Card, BVN, Voters Cards and Driver’s license. Most of them also kicked against the timing due to COVID-19 pandemic disease.

Below are few reactions of Nigerians to the decision.

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