Depending on how you look at it, 46 million Nigerians have rejected the total of N3 trillion naira (about $10 billion) in their bank accounts.
Experts have blamed corruption for the N3tn trapped in accounts that have not been linked to the Bank Verification Numbers of their owners, and asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently confiscate the funds.
The NIBSS had said in December last year that 46 million bank accounts were still without the BVN. That means that money is largely rejected and cannot be accessed by the owners. Of course, some of the owners are dead with no next of kin. Some are monies the owners know they are there but are afraid of Buhari government with EFCC with its high voltage searchlight watching.
In roundatble in Lagos, the experts note that most of the money is there as a result of corruption. People do not want to claim them to avoid being prosecuted in case they cannot claim evidence of legal possession.
According to the Senior Assistant to the Minister of Communications on Digital Transformation, Mr. Akim Yusuf, “the corruption that has led to the trapped N3tn is being perpetrated by Nigerians who have no self-control.”
He said, “The antidote will be to develop institutional mechanisms. We need to put in place mechanisms to monitor the flow of funds in the public sector. This is why we have introduced policies like the Treasury Single Account and the Biometric Verification Numbers.
“We need to increase the level of digital tracking of funds to curb corruption. We plan to migrate all government services online. This will minimise the use of cash, which encourages bribery.”
It seems this is already working. Imagine if government puts a date after which the money goes to government. Do you know the impact? Nigeria can fund a huge part of the N7.3 trillion budgeted for 2017.