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Reps Ask CBN To Stop Social Media Handle Addition To ‘Know Your Customer.

directive by the CBN conflicts with the provision of Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.

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Reps Ask CBN To Stop Social Media Handle Addition To ‘Know Your Customer.

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the implementation of the directive to Commercial Banks on adding Social Media usernames to the “Know your Customer” requirement.

This was a sequel to adopting a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rt. Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Hon. Kelechi Nwogu and eight others at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion on behalf of his colleagues, Nwogu said the recent directive by CBN to Commercial Banks on adding social media handles to “Know Your Customer” requirements made it mandatory for the Banks to comply.

The lawmaker said the House was: “Aware that recently the Central Bank of Nigeria released its Customer Due Diligence Regulations, 2023, noting the importance of social media handles on “Know Your Customer” would galvanise compliance
with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing provisions.

“Notes that obtaining the additional information would be useful to financial institutions in accessing customers’ online presence and activities, thus enabling better assessment of potential risks associated with money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing.”

He, however, observed that as laudable as the directive may appear, it may be unnecessary as it is likely to bear pressure on teeming Nigerian masses at the current trying period.

Nwogu said the directive by the CBN conflicts with the provision of Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) on the right to privacy of Citizens.

He argued that: “Banks in the country already have the names, telephone numbers, passport photographs, emails, National Identification Number (NIN), Biometric Verification Number (BVN), utility bills and other basic requirements with which to identify, know and monitor customers.

“There are better means of monitoring money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing, such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit
(NFIU), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), intelligence and crime tracking
agencies, amongst others.

“If the directive takes effect, Nigerians who are not on social media, with large turnovers from their businesses and trades, would be compelled to or systematically excluded from formal banking systems with its attendant negative effects and implications.”

He also expressed worry about the untold hardships this directive will cause millions of Nigerians, especially the illiterate or semi-literate business owners, traders and entrepreneurs living in the villages and rural areas who do not have social media handles.

The lawmaker further expressed concern that implementing the CBN’s directive at this point may be unnecessary as it is likely to bear much pressure on teeming Nigerian masses.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency (when constituted) to investigate the matter and report back within three weeks for further legislative action, while the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) ensured implementation.

Reps Ask CBN To Stop Social Media Handle Addition To ‘Know Your Customer

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the implementation of the directive to Commercial Banks on adding Social Media usernames to the “Know your Customer” requirement.

This was a sequel to adopting a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rt. Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Hon. Kelechi Nwogu and eight others at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion on behalf of his colleagues, Nwogu said the recent directive by CBN to Commercial Banks on adding social media handles to “Know Your Customer” requirements made it mandatory for the Banks to comply.

The lawmaker said the House was: “Aware that recently the Central Bank of Nigeria released its Customer Due Diligence Regulations, 2023, noting the importance of social media handles on “Know Your Customer” would galvanise compliance
with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing provisions.

“Notes that obtaining the additional information would be useful to financial institutions in accessing customers’ online presence and activities, thus enabling better assessment of potential risks associated with money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing.”

He, however, observed that as laudable as the directive may appear, it may be unnecessary as it is likely to bear pressure on teeming Nigerian masses at the current trying period.

Nwogu said the directive by the CBN conflicts with the provision of Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) on the right to privacy of Citizens.

He argued that: “Banks in the country already have the names, telephone numbers, passport photographs, emails, National Identification Number (NIN), Biometric Verification Number (BVN), utility bills and other basic requirements with which to identify, know and monitor customers.

“There are better means of monitoring money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing, such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit
(NFIU), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), intelligence and crime tracking
agencies, amongst others.

“If the directive takes effect, Nigerians who are not on social media, with large turnovers from their businesses and trades, would be compelled to or systematically excluded from formal banking systems with its attendant negative effects and implications.”

He also expressed worry about the untold hardships this directive will cause millions of Nigerians, mainly the illiterate or semi-literate business owners, traders and entrepreneurs living in the villages and rural areas who do not have social media handles.

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The lawmaker further expressed concern that implementing the CBN’s directive may be unnecessary as it is likely to bear much pressure on teeming Nigerian masses.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency (when constituted) to investigate the matter and report back within three weeks for further legislative action, while the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) ensured implementation.

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