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BVN Exposes Nigerians with Fake Certificates, Multiple Birth Dates

An official of one of the leading banks said on Friday that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) policy of the CBN had exposed many Nigerians parading fake certificates and multiple dates of birth.

The official, who spoke anonymously, said in Lagos that some of the challenges encountered in withdrawals by some customers were due to this anomaly. According to him, some customers who
complained of difficulties in accessing their accounts, either had multiple dates of birth on their credentials or are using different names for different accounts.

He particularly mentioned a married woman, who had different dates of birth on her academic qualifications, another on her birth certificate and yet another on her international passport.
“To worsen her case, she cannot remember the dates offhand that she imputed on all the three documents. So, it was difficult for the date she supplied to correspond with her name on our BVN platform,” he said. He explained that during the course of resolving a customer’s complaints, he discovered another who used another person’s credentials to gain employment.

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The official said that the customer had a different name on his salary account which corresponded to the certificate he was parading and another name for his personal account with the same bank.
“Since the platform had no provision for multiple names for a particular account, it was difficult for the said customer to access his accounts,” the official said. He said that for both cases, the customers were either advised to swear to an affidavit, stating their original name(s) and dates of birth, as applicable.

According to him, the BVN exercise is already responding to the objective for which it was created by the apex bank. He added that through the BVN, cases mischievous change in dates of birth would be a thing of the past.

The BVN registration inaugurated in February 2014 is an initiative of the CBN and the Bankers Committee to protect depositors’ funds from fraudsters.

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