Some Nigerians, who reacted to the ruling by the Federal High Court, Abuja, empowering the federal government to seize BVN non-compliant accounts, have said the move will result in mass deaths.
The Bank Verification Number is a security system that requires citizens to provide their bio data.
However, some bank account holders did not comply due to the failure of some banks to rigorously implement it.
In their opinions, respondents, during vox pop conducted by Newbreak.ng, said those who would be affected may suddenly develop health problems they may ultimately die of.
Esther Anorie, a civil servant, who spoke to Newsbreak.ng, said that forfeiting personal accounts to the government will lead to loss of lives.
“Government should be prepared to buy coffins if they are going to take over people’s accounts because a lot of them would lose their lives as a result of heart attack. The last thing we need in this country is for government to plan a mass burial.”
A legal practitioner, Olaniyi Adekonla, who noted that forfeiture of accounts isn’t the right way to go about registration of BVN said “I don’t see the possibility of that happening, if I have money in my bank account and government decides to take over because of BVN, I will simply shoot the bank.”
Adekonla stressed that people without BVN should be encouraged to register and not have their accounts forfeited. “That’s pure 419,” he noted.
Another respondent, Onome Ovie, a student, said the Federal Government should extend the ultimatum to two years. She noted that the exercise still needs proper awareness. “The bank does not make it easy for anyone either, the procedures involved could take a whole day to complete,” she added.
However, some respondents upheld the decision, stating that Nigerians only submit to drastic measures. Henry Uyiosa, a Lagos businessman said “Already Nigerians have been given enough time to register and government is right to take over the accounts.”
Dada Banklole, another businessman said it’s a ‘beautiful idea’. “An account owner without BVN should be perceived as a criminal because the exercise is to correct crime rate in the country,” he continued.
“The government should go ahead to seize the accounts and invest the money back into the society,” he added.