By Okeleye Solomon A
Recently, Commercial banks in Nigeria restricted the accounts of their customers and they told us they are acting on the directives of the CBN that all customers must have BVN (Bank Verification number) however, they did not provide us with an enrollment centre here in Georgia (Europe).We were told that the approximately 2,000 GTB none resident Nigerian clients residing here in Georgia (Europe) should travel to Dubai or Ukraine which are the nearest BVN enrollment centre for us to get BVN done.
We let them realize that making a trip to any of these countries would cost us about 2,000 USD, plus most of us are students and we can't afford that. Please help us tell CBN to give us an enrollment centre or lift the restriction on our account.
There is a case at hand of a Nigerian here who is having health challenges and could not withdraw money from his GTB account to pay his hospital bill. This guy has been denied treatment because of his inability to withdraw the money his parents sent to him to cater for his hospital bill. We called GTB, we wrote to them and explained the critical situation of this guy, all they did was to send us apologies.
Students who has rents, school fees and upkeep in their account could not withdraw their money in the name of BVN which CBN could not provide for us. Attached here is the list of BVN enrollment centers in the world, could you believe there are less than 50 with about 10 centers in the USA alone, 5 in UK, 5 in Australia, 3 in the whole of China and etc?
CBN has forgotten that there are Nigerians doing business from from Nigeria to other parts of the world and vise versa. Why should the policy makers in our country impose laws that will claim lives and lead to the downfall of the economic prosperity of their own people and nation at large?
We have pleaded with GTB who should be responsible for negotiating enrollment centers for her oversea client, we have argue the case of the guy with health challenges, they refused to oblige. We have resorted to make the media our last hope. Please help us communicate our grief to the appropriate quarters.
May i also inform you that this is the 3rd month we have informed Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine to come and renew the international passport of about 200 Nigerians whose details has been sent to them and they still did not show up. They kept telling us they are waiting for response from Abuja. Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine has been given the sole responsibility to cover Georgia and some other countries in Eastern Europe, but their negligence is immeasurable. We have addressed the embassy on different challenges Nigerians are posed with including those like denial of rights and systemic discrimination from local organizations and parastatals here in Georgia, yet they have never for once intervene.
As i am writing to you, there are Nigerians in detention camps here simply because their international passport expired and they can not apply for renewal of their visa because of expired international passport. Nigerians are stranded and can't even move on the street, some are afraid of going to school and so on because their passport has expired.