The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that it has recovered
over N 51 . 9 bn illegally deducted by commercial banks and
returned it to the customers
The CBN stated that the amount was illegally removed from
the accounts of bank customers across the country in the
past five years.
The Acting Director , Corporate Communications , CBN, Mr .
Isaac Okorafor , disclosed this in Port Harcourt during an
interactive session with stakeholders, including labour
union leaders, in the South-South zone .
Okoroafor stated that the recovery and return of the funds
to customers became necessary after series of complaints on
illegal deductions from their accounts by commercial bank
customers got to the apex bank .
Putting the exact amount recovered and returned by the
CBN Consumer Protection Department at N 51 , 913,350,828. 85 , he explained that $ 18 , 191,444. 19 , € 26 . 286,62 and £ 6 ,000 were also recovered within the period .
Okorafor , who was represented by an assistant director in
the apex bank , John Attah, recalled that the CBN received
10 , 548 complaints, adding that the amounts recovered were
from 5 ,746 resolved cases .
He stated , “ When such complaints are received , the CBN
will embark on a thorough investigation of what happened
and how the deductions were made. If we discover that the
bank was wrong , we will write and order the bank to
return the money to the customer ’s account .
“ We do not keep this kind of money in any special account .
Someone owns it and the banks know the accounts from
where they made the deductions . So , we mandate them to
pay it back into the accounts . ”
He , however , expressed the apex bank ’s continued
commitment to customers ’ protection , adding that the
interactive session was aimed at educating stakeholders,
particularly labour unions , on some of the financial policy
drives of the CBN.
Okorafor stated that such financial initiatives were targeted
at closing the gaps in the economy to foster development
and safety of citizens.
On the Bank Verification Number , the acting director
explained that the initiative was brought into the banking
system to solve the challenges of customer identification
based on finger prints .
“ People use different names to open different accounts for
different reasons and purposes; but with the help of the
BVN , we should be able to know who is operating what
account irrespective of the name . This has made criminals
and fraudsters , who are operating secret accounts , to
abandon their accounts in order not to be caught ,” he
The Vice President , Industrial Global Union , Mr . Issa Aremu ,
expressed gratitude to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin
Emefiele , for interfacing with labour unions on financial
literacy since the past three years .