April 17, 2024 2:24 pm
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SERAP Urges CBN to Revoke Unjustifiable Order for Banks to Collect Customers’ Social Media Handles

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on Mr Folashodun Shonubi, Acting Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to immediately delete the patently unlawful provisions in the Central Bank of Nigeria (Customer Due Diligence) Regulations directing banks to obtain information on customers’ social media handles for identification purposes.

Earlier, the Apex bank had instructed commercial banks to attach their customers’ social media handles to their bank accounts as a measure to combat financial fraud within the banking sector.

SERAP, however, urged the apex bank to withdraw the Circular number FPR/DIR/PUB/CIR/007/076 of 20 June 2023, which mandates banks and other financial institutions to implement and comply with these unlawful mandatory provisions on customers’ social media handles in the CBN Regulations.

Section 6(a)(iv) and Section 6(b)(iii) of the CBN Regulations require banks and financial institutions to identify their customers and obtain information on their social media handles.

In a statement, SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, stated, “The CBN Regulations and directive to banks to obtain details of customers’ social media addresses violates Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy. It is inconsistent and incompatible with the rule of law.”

SERAP also emphasized that the CBN should contribute to the advancement of respect for the rule of law and human rights, rather than undermine or violate these fundamental legal requirements and standards.

The group has given the CBN three days to withdraw the regulations, warning of legal action if their request is not addressed within the specified time.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 3 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you and the CBN to comply with our request in the public interest,” it stated.

Source: Information Nigeria

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