Kemi Adeosun urges cbn to extend bvn to microfinance banks

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has urged the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN) to extend Bank Verification Number (BVN) to account
holders in Microfinance Banks (MFBs), to facilitate the detection of
bank accounts opened and operated for ghost workers by fraudulent
syndicates.
The Minister said the introduction of BVN by the apex bank  has
contributed immensely in improving the  integrity of the Federal
Government payroll  on which  more than 50,000 ghost workers were
detected and removed.

Mrs. Adeosun stated that operating bank accounts in Microfinance Banks
without requirement for BVN has left a huge loophole which individuals
intent on committing financial crimes could use to hide and launder
proceeds of crime and successfully   escape detection by law enforcement
agencies.
“Our ongoing efforts to verify the integrity of Federal Government 
personnel costs and purge the system of fraud and error has made
extensive use of the BVN as a means of identifying recipients of
multiple salaries, and salaries paid into accounts  with names that
differ to those held on our payroll records. The success of this effort
has to date yielded the removal of over 50,000 payroll entries,” she
said.
Mrs. Adeosun referred   the CBN governor to the discovery that, prior to
the deadline for obtaining the BVN, the movement of a large number of
salary accounts of federal employees from commercial banks to
Microfinance Banks.
“This is a suspicious activity and we have already commenced a review of
such cases to identify and investigate any cases of fraud,” the
Minister explained.
While noting that extending the requirement for BVN to Microfinance
Banks may  put a huge financial strain  on the smaller Microfinance
Banks,  the Minister pointed out that  “some MFBs,  such as National
Police Force Microfinance (NPF), have over 27,000 salary accounts. Our
inability to perform checks on such a large number of salary earners is a
key risk.”
“I am therefore seeking your co-operation to enforce compliance with BVN
on any  MFB with over 200 active salary accounts or those above a
certain size. This will support the Federal Government’s efforts at
reducing leakages to create headroom for the capital projects that will
support the growth of the economy,”  the Minister said in the
correspondence.
Meanwhile, the Naira appreciated against the Dollars in all the major segments of the foreign exchange market on monday.
The currency gained three points to exchange at N460 from N463 posted on
Friday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N550 and 476
respectively.
At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira was sold at N399 to a
dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N547 and N482,
respectively.
Trading on the floor of the interbank market saw the Naira closed at N306 to a dollar.
Traders at the market expressed delight in the interventions the CBN had
made so far in boosting liquidity, adding that its sustenance would
turn the economy around in the short to medium term.

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Posted on March 14, 2017

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