Fear of a major liquidity crisis should the government pull out funds belonging to customers without Bank Verification Number (BVN) is boldly written on the faces of banks. The deadline given by the court for such customers to lose their cash is tomorrow.
Justice Dimgba Igwe of the Federal High Court, ruling on an ex parte application filed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on October 21, granted the temporary forfeiture of such cash within two weeks unless the owners justify their ownership of such accounts.
There has been confusion over the status of such funds after the 14-day deadline.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) might, at the expiration of the deadline, compel the 21 commercial banks to provide a status report on non-BVN-linked accounts in their books. When that happens, banking sector liquidity may suffer as lenders begin to return un-linked funds to government coffers.
The Vice-President, West African Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Emeka Obegoru, said if there was no suit challenging the court ruling, the banks will have to produce a full list of their customers without BVN.