Commercial banks in Nigeria closed 2.021 million bank accounts in the first quarter of 2024 to comply with regulatory orders on linking bank accounts to the National Identity Number (NIN), among other reasons.

According to a report by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the number of inactive bank accounts increased by four million or 2.0% month-on-month, reaching 19.7 million in March 2024 from 19.3 million in February.

An account is deemed inactive if it records zero transactions, including deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or point-of-sale transactions for six consecutive months.

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However, data from the “Industry Bank Account Database,” compiled by NIBSS, showed that the number of active bank accounts grew by 6.62 million or 3.0%, reaching 219.64 million from 213.02 million in February.

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all commercial banks to restrict tier-1 accounts not linked to the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) by Thursday, March 1st, 2024.

As of April 2024, data from NIBSS showed that 61.6 million Nigerians have BVN.