How to open a bank account in Nigeria


A bank account is a type of financial account held in a bank on your behalf for the safe custody of your money.

A bank account can be seen as an invisible wallet a bank keeps for you, this wallet is used by the bank to hold your money. Any money you withdraw from your bank account will be taken off your wallet and any money you pay into your bank account will be added to the wallet.

When you open a bank account, a bank account number will be given to you. You need this bank account number to pay in or withdraw money from your bank account.

Like all countries of the world, there are laws and regulations governing the process of opening bank accounts in Nigeria.

The Central Bank of Nigeria regulates all banking institutions in Nigeria. The apex bank is in charge of rolling out regulations governing bank accounts opening.

how to open a bank account

Steps to open a bank account

Decide the bank you will like to open a bank account with. Do you want to open an account with a regular bank, a merchant bank, a microfinance bank or a finance house?

Decide on the type of the bank account you want to open? Is it current, savings or fixed deposit account?

Visit the bank you choose with a proof of your Identity (international passport or driver’s license or voter’s card), proof of address (utility bill like electricity, water or waste bill), passport photographs, seal (in case of a corporate account), board resolution (corporate accounts) and incorporation documents (corporate account).

Fill the bank account opening form; please note the account opening form can be completed in a bank’s branch or online. Some banks now allow Nigerians to open bank accounts through the internet.

Enroll for a Bank Verification Number (BVN). The bank verification number allows the government to safeguard the bank accounts of people whilst also guarding against illegal activities.

After completion of the bank account opening form, your bank account will be opened. This can take between 1-24 hours

After the opening of the bank account, you may request for a debit or ATM card.

For foreigners, you may need your proof of residence in Nigeria before a bank account can be opened for you. Documents like expatriate quota, naturalization document or work permit should suffice.


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