The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered commercial banks and other financial institutions to accept Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRCTD) and Refugee Identification Cards, as a statutory document for financial transactions.

The apex bank said its decision was driven by the challenges asylum seekers and refugees face with means of identification while conducting financial transactions in Nigeria.

The MRCTD is issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The order was given through a memo to the financial institutions and payment service providers in the country signed by the Director, Finance Policy Regulation Department, CBN, Kevin Amugo on Wednesday.

Before now, banks only accept international passport, driver’s license, national identity card,

INEC registration card, student ID card and office ID card

“All banks and financial institutions are referred to the provisions of the CBN AML/CFT Regulations 2013 (as amended) on customer due diligence,” CBN said.

“They should note that MRCTD issued by the Nigeria Immigration Services; and the Refugee Identity Card issued by the National Commission for Refugee, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, are adequate means of identification for banking transactions.”

The apex bank also charged the banks to ensure effective operations in all transactions that will

forestall money laundering and other criminal activities in the banking system.

“Banks and other financial institutions are also required to continue to ensure that effective customer due diligence policies and procedures are implemented to combat money laundering, financing of terrorists, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

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