Welcome to he new Nigeria where government is regulating everything including how banks could run their businesses.
Customers are free to open accounts without deposits, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
The directive is contained in the Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2016/2017 guidelines posted by the CBN on its website.
Commercial banks ask for cash deposits to cover operating cost of opening new accounts to discourage customers from abandoning their account opening plans after completing documentations.
The initial deposits are usually around N1,000 or N5,000 for savings accounts and N10,000 and above for corporate accounts.
The CBN said the new policy directive is in line with its commitment to encourage banks to improve their deposit mobilisation efforts while promoting the financial inclusion initiative.
If only CBN knows that opening zero balance accounts could be costly to banks as their staff have to be paid.