Archbishop of Ibadan urges FG to extend BVN-NIN linking deadline

CBN has given March 1 as the stipulated time for the exercise, lest customers have their accounts blocked.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan has urged the Federal Government (FG) to give more time for bank customers to link their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with their National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, appealed to the government at a news conference organised by the archdiocese in Ibadan on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given March 1 as the stipulated time for the exercise, lest customers have their accounts blocked.

However, banks have continued with the exercise, urging their customers to act accordingly before the announcement of a new deadline. Abegunrin said the exercise should be allowed to go on for as long as possible to ease the stress citizens face in trying to align with the regulation.

According to him, the government should seek to provide infrastructure that will make the exercise easier and faster. The archbishop remarked that while the government might mean well with the exercise, its implementation had caused much distress and anxiety.

“After the cashless policy and scarcity of naira in 2023, the banking sector must not be seen again as causing pain and stress to citizens who want to have easy access to their money.

“Bearing in mind the economic hardship, we call on government at all levels to rise to the occasion.

“Social welfare packages should be extended to all citizens; let funds allocated for the people be used for the purpose and not otherwise,” he said.

The clergyman also enjoined the Oyo State Government to ensure that the various security outfits in the state provide adequate security for all and sundry. According to him, if security is lacking, individuals will resort to jungle justice, which can affect the peaceful coexistence of people in the state.

He expressed concern that the lack of jobs and harsh economic realities had continued to drive many young ones to seek greener pastures outside the shores of Nigeria. Abegunrin said while the ‘japa’ syndrome might provide some economic benefits, it would, in the long run, lead to brain drain and depopulation of society.

He, thereafter, called on the government at all levels to put in place effective machinery that would provide opportunities for youths and adults to be gainfully employed. He noted that the Catholics believed in holistic education, hence the establishment of its schools to shape the lives of leaders at both national and state levels.

“The time has come for these schools to be returned; there’s no gainsaying that the church can do more with less resources – results from many Catholic schools throughout the nation lend credence to this,” he added.

Abegunrin urged Christians and Muslims observing the religious obligation of fasting to use the period to pray for the country and Oyo State.

“If we all truly care for one another as true descendants of Abraham, our two religions will become effective instruments of peaceful coexistence and collaboration in the state.

“We, therefore, call on other religions to continue to preach love and solidarity and enjoin their followers to shun hatred and dissension,” Abegunrin stated.

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