Following an appeal from the Minister of Defence, Dan Ali Mohammed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prolong the duration for the registration of Biometric Verification Number for officers of the Nigeria Armed Forces, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the extension to enable them access to their salaries.
Alhaji Suleiman Barau, Deputy Governor Operations, CBN revealed this to the Senate Committee on Appropriation when he appeared before them in Abuja. He also said that the bank understood the plight of military officers.
The Minister of Defense, Dan Ali Mohammed solicited support from the Senate Committee, pleading that the committee intervene and ensure that BVN registration for military operatives especially in the war front be extended. He explained that considering the circumstances, most soldiers and their families had it rough as they were unable to access their salaries before the deadline.
Dan-Ali said it was highly impossible for soldiers to leave the war front to go for the registration, as such they shouldn’t have to be punished further by being denied access to their accounts.
“Our soldiers in the field cannot access their money because of the BVN: our soldiers should be given extension so that they and their family can access their salary. “We need to appeal to the CBN governor if that can be done as it will enhance the morale of our soldiers,” he said.
The compulsory registration was extended by three months from June 30, 2015 to October 31 to provide ample time enough for millions of Nigerians to participate in the exercise. But as of the beginning of October, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that only 20 million out of the 52 million active bank accounts had been enrolled on the BVN network.
After the long awaited BVN deadline approached, registration continued even though CBN earlier stated that there would be no further extension of the exercise. The accounts of Nigerians who failed to meet the deadline were temporarily blocked, with the condition that they would be able to access their accounts upon registration.