Uproar as Nigerians in UK pay N10, 000 for BVN

By 11:40 Sat, 18 Jul 2015 Comments



Nigerians on queue for their Bank Verification Number

in London... on Friday.

Nigerians in London, United Kingdom, have expressed

frustration over the compulsory payment of £30 (about

N10, 000) for the registration of the Bank Verification

Number, as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Apparently sad over their plight, some of them during the

week stormed the Nigeria High Commission in London to

protest against the directive of the apex bank. Others took

to the social media to vent their anger.

The CBN had recently extended the deadline for the BVN

registration from June 30 to October 31, 2015 as disclosed

in a circular issued to all deposit money banks operating in

the country.

The Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department of

the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the extension became

imperative in order to give bank customers more time to

participate in the enrolment exercise.

The circular had read in part, “It has come to our notice that

the BVN registration has elicited tremendous interest from

the Nigerian banks’ customers who crowded the banking

halls in order to beat the deadline.

“Furthermore, there is the need to give Nigerian banks’

customers in the Diaspora ample time to enrol on the

programme. The guideline for their enrolment is being

finalised and will be released soon.”

Though the BVN registration in Nigeria is free, Nigerians

living in London have had to part with N10, 000 to enrol on

the exercise.

The directive was said to have been issued by the apex

bank, as confirmed by the UK chapter of the All

Progressives Congress and Zenith Bank.

The APC, UK chapter, had asked the bank on Twitter about

the authenticity of the directive and the bank replied, saying,

“The letter is genuine. The fee is as communicated by CBN

and the enrolment company was contracted by the CBN. We

trust this helps.”

Meanwhile, a user of a popular blogging platform, Nairaland ,

by the name klem93, said he was shocked to have seen

photos of Nigerians thronging the Nigeria High Commission

in London in frustration.

He wrote, “I thought it is going to be smooth sailing as I

read that BVN for Nigerians in London had begun. I didn’t

know it is going to be the same way as it went in Nigeria. A

reader of my blog who lives in London wrote me an email:

‘The Nigeria High Commission in London needs an urgent

overhaul. This afternoon, we Nigerians were treated like

animals in Fleet Street, London, all because we wanted to

do BVN for those of us who have accounts in Nigeria.

“Things soon became chaotic and someone called police

on us. They allowed us to converge on the street and then

locked us out. We were also being forced to pay £30.00

each, but none of the officials or the website could explain

what the money was meant for. Is it not free in Nigeria?”

Eleojoe23, another user of the platform, protested, “£30?

What for? They truly deserve an explanation. Maybe the

high commission thinks that since they live in London, they

should have enough money to spare. Do they think people

just go out and pick money on the streets in London?”

Another user of the platform, Julioralph, said, “30 pounds

for what? Members of staff at the high commission should

be changed. Even the CBN is at fault as well; they don’t

have proper plans for those abroad concerning this BVN

stuff.”

Attempts to get the comment of the ministry’s

spokesperson, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, were not successful as

he could not be reached on the phone. He also did not

respond to a text message that was sent to him.

But investigations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed

that the ministry was not involved in the BVN registration

held in the UK.

A highly placed official in the ministry explained that the

Nigeria High Commission in UK was not involved in the BVN

registration, stressing that it was handled by a private firm

which has no relationship with the embassy.

The source said that the high commission officials saw the

posters advertising the BVN registration in London like other

members of the public, noting that the “BVN registration

was the private affair of a private company.”

“Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the Nigeria High

Commission in the UK was involved in the BVN registration;

the programme was handled by a private company which

has no relationship with the ministry or the high

commission,” the official said on Friday.

Also, the Director, Corporate Communications Department,

CBN, Mr. Mu’azu Ibrahim, could not be reached for

comments as repeated calls made to his mobile phone did

not connect.


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