How to reactivate inactive or dormant accounts in Nigeria

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your bank account if you leave it for a long period without performing any transaction on it?

Luckily, most banks in Nigeria will debit the account with a maintenance fee or send interests that way the account stays active even when the owner has not personally performed any transaction.

However, if for some reason your bank account has been declared inactive or dormant, here is how to get it back.

what is a dormant account?

Dormant account; the CBN describes a dormant account as any bank account that has not received credit in a period of more than one year. Debit or sending money out of an account that not affect the definition.

Inactive account; according to the same CBN guideline, an active account is any bank account that has not seen a credit transaction in a period of more than 6 months. Debit or sending money out of an account that not affect the definition.

How to reactivate dormant and inactive accounts

If your bank account has become dormant or inactive, you can recover them by;

Inactive accounts can be reactivated by simply receiving a credit transaction into them. Simply visit your bank to make a deposit or you can make a transfer into the account and that will automatically reactivate it.

Dormant accounts can only be recovered at the bank with a passport, proof of address and BVN biometric verification. To reactivate your dormant account, go to your bank with a valid means of ID (international passport, voters card, driver’s license or National ID card – NIN slip), proof of current address (electricity bill, waste bill, water bill or any other bill with your home address on it.

Effects of leaving your account dormant or inactive

The Finance Act 2020 empowers the federal government to borrow the dividends from dormant accounts, the act empowers the government to take money from accounts that have remained dormant for more than 6 years. If you have an inactive account, here’s how to prevent it from becoming dormant;

  • Periodically pay money into the account at least once every 6 months. Little deposit or online transfer of #100 will keep the account active.
  • Those travelling abroad can simply make remittances into the accounts that they don’t want dormant or have family and friends in Nigeria make deposits on their behalf.


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher
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