The federal government says every person that owns an account with financial institutions has to undergo a self-certification process.
The directive was announced on Thursday via the federal government’s Twitter handle.
Account-holders are required to obtain, complete and submit the self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.
The federal government said individuals who hold accounts in different financial institutions would have to collect and submit separate forms to each one of the institutions.
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.
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 17, 2020
Three categories of forms for entities, individuals and controlling person (individuals having a controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) are said to be available
“The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019,” it said.
“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.”
It is not yet clear how the self-certification process differs from the bank verification number (BVN) and national identification number (NIN).
The BVN is a prerequisite to owning a bank account and it is used to link all bank and pension accounts owned by an individual.
The NIN is also another form of identification introduced by the federal government and is a prerequisite for getting an international passport.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) currently harmonising the NIN and BVN and has set a five-year target to register all Nigerians after a $430 million World Bank loan for the Nigeria digital identification for development project.
In May, Aliyu Aziz, the NIMC director-general, said 14 million BVN had been harmonised with NIN.
In September, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) launched an automatic exchange of information-common reporting standard (AEOI-CRS) system for the use of financial institutions which it described as a step towards “aligning the country’s tax system with global standards”.
The federal government has also not announced what provisions would be made for citizens in the diaspora given that they partook in the NIN, BVN enrollment.
Nigerians on social media have begun to react to the announcement with some requesting for an electronic certification option considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dear @NigeriaGov, what is this about please and why is it being put in place? Your communication does not provide sufficient information and, as currently communicated, seems like another never-ending verification exercise that will frustrate the public for little or no gain. https://t.co/qDa0JlLfkb
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) September 17, 2020
There is COVID outside but as part of government’s effort to ensure your safety, we now have a great idea that’d require Nigerians in their tens of millions going from bank to bank to do this self-certification that’d ensure national prosperity & food security for all by 2023. https://t.co/rqi3fkg5hI
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) September 17, 2020
Poor communication technique, very poor.
Where’s a date and deadline to work with?, what exactly is this new development for? Can’t BVN play it’s role? What incentive have you provided for ease of doing this? Are we to march to the banks?
This is not 1922!!
— Akwa Ugoo❤ (@rosemary_enemuo) September 17, 2020
Which one is this again oh? Is this part of the ease of doing business? You just released anyhow information like that…no pre-alerts, no education given to the general public. Now you are going to start causing panic all over. Why always rush out policies without full thoughts.
— AdewaleOmoba (@AdewaleOmoba19) September 17, 2020
This government is determined to collide with Nigerians in a very violent way. Anger is rising. What is the need for this?
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) September 17, 2020
Can’t the forms be online on various bank websites? Is it a must we must go to their various banks, at this pandemic period. It is not a wise decision. Everything must be online and also be done in banks for people that don’t have access to internet facilities.
— VICTECH (@VOgunsuyi) September 17, 2020
…The best thing to do is, to request the Banks to made provision on their website or just a dedicated webpage for people to update their accounts. Asking Nigerians to queue at the bank just to fill form, it’s unwise decision. We have since left this traditional way of living.b
— Abdullahi Misilli (@Abdallahmisilli) September 17, 2020
Analogue people. This is 2020 common !! Stop 🛑 stressing the masses.
— Fliptycebeat (@FLIPTYCE) September 17, 2020