As a Nigerian, you will have to agree that it is quite difficult to do anything back home in Nigeria if you are not physically present to monitor it. This is because there are a lot of fraudsters masquerading as family members, friends, and so on. Many times, selfish people take advantage of the lack of fluidity between the financial setups in Nigeria and the rest of the western world to defraud their diaspora family and friends who have placed a lot of trust in them.
The apparent solution that the Nigerian Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have proffered to this problem is to enable Nigerians who live/work abroad to open and operate their Nigerian bank accounts with foreign documents, even in absentia. Their transactions are done through online banking.
First, what is a bank account?
An account is a financial space created and maintained by a financial institution in order to hold and move money, in which all transactions between a financial institution and a customer are recorded. This article will educate its readers on what diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank accounts are, and the documentation required to open a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account anywhere in the world.
Who is a Non-Resident Nigerian?
A non-resident Nigerian is a person who no longer lives in Nigeria. Rather, they live in another country permanently.
What is a Diaspora/Non-resident Nigerian (NRN) Account?
A diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account in Nigeria is a Naira/USD/GBP/YEN-denominated account opened at the instance of a Nigerian who resides/work in another country/continent. This account requires that you notarize your documents in your residing country prior to sending the original copies to Nigeria (if the bank requests for original).
The diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account can be opened as a current or a savings account. A diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account in Nigeria is a “NUBAN” 10-digit account created by the bank/Financial Institution in the name of the individual/personal customer, designed to receive and hold their personal proceeds.
Opening a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account can be quite tasking if one does not pay close attention to all the documents required – probably because the requirements are quite a few. Also, having to courier the documents down to Nigeria is another big hurdle to scale, although courier rules differ from bank to bank. This is why it is important to draw a checklist of required documents.
How do I Open a Diaspora/Non-Resident Nigerian (NRN) Bank Account? Here it is:
Been asking yourself how to open a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account? Well, here is a checklist of the documents required to open a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account:
The customer must present his or her government-issued valid ID card and recent utility bill to the bank. The purpose of this is to properly and adequately identify the customer.
Valid foreign passport/driver’s license supported by a proof of one of these Nigerian Nationality:
- Voters’ Card
- International Passport
- Driver’s License
- National Identification Number (NIN)
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Bank Verification Number (BVN)
BVN is a unique 11-digit number used by banks/financial institutions in identifying their customers or prospects. The customer must provide his or her BVN. All bank accounts, irrespective of where the holder is, must have a BVN attached.
If you are outside Nigeria and yet to register for BVN, click HERE to find out where to register abroad.
This is a serious and un-waivable requirement to open a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account as proscribed by CBN.
Notarized Proofs of Addresses (Foreign & Nigerian)
This is very important in opening a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account in Nigeria. A utility bill is a receipt or invoice issued by a biller, showing the address of the user of the utility. The customer must present two(2) utility bills to the bank as proof of address.
- A notarized/certified copy of any of the following;
- Stamped Bankers confirmation (showing customer’s foreign address)
- Recent foreign utility bill showing customer’s foreign address
- Bank or credit card statement issued within the last three months showing customer’s address abroad.
- Tenancy agreements/rent receipts (foreign)
2. For individuals, a Nigerian address where the bank can verify must be provided. It is usually not compulsory for individuals to provide a utility bill for this Nigerian address.
3. To open corporate diaspora accounts, a recent Nigerian utility bill (tenancy agreement, waste bill, water bill, or electricity bill) must be provided.
The customer must present his passport photo to the bank. The passport photo, preferably, should:
- Be clear
- No eye glasses/sunshades
- No head-ties
- Lighting must be balanced, avoid glare
- Avoid laughing/frowning
- Show the signatory’s ears, neck, opened eyes, and face
Two (2) References (from Residents in Nigeria)
A bank reference should confirm that banking relationship has been acceptable, without any defaults from your part. This is also very important to open a diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank account. The forms, usually packaged as part of the opening form by the bank, must be duly filled and signed both by the signatory of the proposed bank account, and the referee.
Here are some modalities about reference forms:
- The referee account can be from any Nigerian bank
- The referee must be a resident of Nigeria
- A corporate/business name can stand as referee for an individual
- A related party e.g., family member, self in another bank, etc. cannot stand as reference
CAC/Incorporation Documents (for Corporates only)
For corporate diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) bank accounts, the customer must provide all pages of the incorporation documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. Nigerian banks will not be able to open accounts for foreign-incorporated companies.
Other Relevant Licenses/Documents
To open a salary diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account, just add your employer’s authorization to open the diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account to the documentation above. Diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account opening requests usually take 24-48 hours to open.
Once you are able to provide all stated here, most Nigerian banks can process your diaspora/non-resident Nigerian (NRN) account opening request within 24-48 hours.