BVN Woes

I’m a peaceful law abiding citizen and prefer to stay that way. So when personal documents etc have to be renewed I like to do so well before expiration dates, the same goes for bill payments and the like. Once adequate notice has been given I like to get them over and done with, last does not sit well with me. I live to avoid the chaos that comes with it and stories that touch. This could be the result of having a Dad that kept drumming it in until it became a habit.

So when the CBN introduced its newest brainwave, a.k.a bank verification number popularly shortened to BVN, I quickly got my registration out of the way. As a result of this I did not even realise an extension was given until after the fact. Reports of horrendous queues and mammoth crowds at banks ensured I stayed far, far away during that period. Suffering by force is not part of my daily requirement.

In fact going to the bank is no longer necessary, online transfers and ATMs have made this almost redundant. For this development I am exceedingly grateful and except in a situation where there is no way out…I totally avoid it. One of such instances presented itself last week after the extended public holiday and knowing it might be a bit busy I gritted my teeth and went all the same.

Getting in line to use the single bank security door was the first indication of what was still ahead. Once I found the right queue to shuffle along I opened a whatsapp group to keep me company. I knew my secondary school mates would not fail me and with that distraction I inched towards the cashier.

The very first indication it would not be as painless as I’d hoped was when I was blithely informed that my account had been blocked. Yes, BLOCKED! No sms or alert of any form to let me know, at least not until the point of cash withdrawal. Still optimistic I moved to the customer service desk as directed. On my turn I was informed it was because of BVN. Gleeful that this was no problem at all, I quickly wrote it down and (in my mind) was already making away with my stash.

This movie came to a screeching halt when I was abruptly asked by the woman at the customer service desk, ‘which one is your first name?’ Huh, was my first thought, ‘Oluseyi’ I replied. ‘Titilola is my middle name.’ ‘You have to go back to where you did your BVN registration and get them to arrange it,’ having issued her directive she looked to the next person. As far as she was concerned her job with me was done and moved to the next person.

Confused I had to ask her, ‘arrange what?’ Turning the computer screen to me, I saw that both my first and middle names had been saved as the latter. To cut a long story very short, it was now my responsibility to return to GT bank (not the friendliest of places) and rectify this mistake. Despite the fact that I beat the deadline, this error made by a bank official ensured there would be no cash withdrawal that fateful morning.

Still shell shocked I looked around the stuffy banking hall, when all I wanted was to throw a raging tantrum, alas I lacked the words necessary. With nothing else to do I made for the door. What I would face at GT would come far too soon for me. Does anyone have similar stories to share?

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