The Federal Government has been warned to desist from freezing the accounts of about fifty million Nigerians whose accounts have not been covered by the Biometric Verification Number (BVN).
Speaking to DAILY POST on phone, an economist, Bishop (Dr.) Emma Gospel Isong regretted Federal Government’s intention, noting that the non-registration of millions of Nigerians was not caused by them but blamed it on the irregularities that beclouded the exercise.
“There were a lot of irregularities when the exercise was being carried out in commercial banks. Of course, I experienced it myself, there were delays in the operations, no enough equipment and personel, people suffered, so many things went wrong, and you have a situation, that even when you have registered, the Banks were still sending you text messages to come and register.
“On this basis, it is not primarily the fault of the account holders; Federal Government has no right to freeze customers’ account as a punishment for not doing BVN. The attempt of doing that may be devastating as millions of customers will withdraw their deposits in various banks, and that will have terrible negative multiplying effect on the economy.”
Consequently, Dr Isong said, if federal government freezes account of Mr A and Mr B observed it, millions of others will withdraw their cash from banks and this will definitely affect cash flow in banks.
“So, if customers, in panic rose and said, account of Mr A has been frozen and not sure of Mr B, millions of people will in one accord, withdraw their physical cash from banks and this will cripple already crumbled economy of Nigeria. This will create drops in banking habits and it will create cash quit in the system and it will surely affect the banking sector.
The economist advised federal government to continue to appeal to Nigerians rather than taking the steps of freezing the customers’ accounts, “I think, it is wise for Federal Government to continue to advertise the registration of BVN and Banks should sent test messages to customers to come and register instead of out rightly freezing of account of over 50 million Nigerians” he appealed.
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