By Emma Ujah
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it did not direct Deposit Money Banks to seize funds in Community Associations’ Savings Accounts.
There has been apprehension among members of Community Development Associations, Cooperative Societies and Social Clubs over reports that accounts held by such organizations which were not properly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or appropriate government agencies would be closed and their funds seized.
Anxiety among members of the affected associations heightened following a podcast that has gone viral in social media on the subject.
A lady had claimed in the podcast that all associations which failed to regularise their documentation before July 12, 2022 would lose their funds and advised them to quickly withdraw their savings.
She had attached a letter written by a DMB to its corporate account holders as proof.
However, investigations by Vanguard indicated that there was no such directive by the CBN.
A top official of CBN who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said, “How can a bank take over anybody’s or any group’s money? That’s not possible. What the bank said was that associations and the like should regularise their accounts in accordance with CAMA provisions and nothing more.”
As learnt, the associations were expected to register with either CAC or Ministry of Trade & Cooperatives, depending on the status of the organisations and that there was nothing to panic about.
The directive of the apex bank, it was learnt, was to ensure appropriate compliance with the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirement in the Nigerian banking sector.
Vanguard gathered that some banks failed to strictly adhere to the policy which prompted the CBN to issue the directive to ensure that members of such associations compiled by regularising their documents.
The letter from a second generation DMB, which has been in circulation reads in part, “Following the directive of the CBN on unregistered Community Savings Accounts, please be advised that all associations or societies are expected to comply by providing their registration documents on or before July 12 , 2022.
“All accounts unregularised by this date will be closed accordingly.