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How to reactivate dormant bank accounts in Nigeria

How to reactivate dormant bank accounts in Nigeria

The growing number of dormant bank accounts in Nigerian banks is getting so alarming that their reactivation is becoming of essence and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is as well expressing great concern to this trend.

In this guide, we shall take an optical journey in the apex bank governing stands and dictates to commercial banks as it concerns dormant bank account in Nigeria.

The central bank of Nigeria in its capacity has given the following guideline on dormant bank accounts and expects compliance from the banks to meet with the best international practices across the globe.

In its circular, the absence of clear guidelines for the management of dormant accounts in Nigeria resulted in different treatments of dormant account balances by deposit taking financial institutions, thus raising concerns among bank account holders, regulators and other stakeholders.

Representations received by the CBN from stakeholders on the subject highlighted the need for the bank to develop a regulatory framework on the management of dormant and inactive accounts as well as other unclaimed funds in Nigeria for the benefit of the banking system.

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The objectives among others are:

  • To standardize the management of dormant account in Nigeria.
  • Conform to international best practice.
  • Eliminate the possibility of banks converting dormant accounts balances to income and
  • Strengthen risk management and internal control processes.


You will get to understand the following dynamics:

How to reactivate dormant bank accounts online

Dormant account period

Dormant account reactivation letter to bank format

Gtbank dormant account reactivation

Dormant account in Nigeria

Access bank dormant account

First bank of Nigeria dormant bank accounts reactivation form.


A bank accounts is said to be inactive if there has been no activities on the account for the period of six months. These activities are cash deposits, withdrawals, ATM transactions, cheque issuance and all what have you.


A bank account shall be classified as dormant bank account if there has been no transactions or activities initiated in the same account for a period of one year.


In the light of the above, the following standard guidelines shall stand for the operation of dormant bank accounts in Nigeria.

  • Interest bearing account shall retain their interest earning status during the period of dormancy.
  • Deposit taking financial institutions shall continue to monitor accounts that show tendencies of inactivity and initiate actions for their reactivation or protection from wrong usage, such actions shall include though not limited to any of the following: SMS. Email, visitation and or phone calls. In all cases, the cost of monitoring the account and contacting the customer shall be borne by the bank.
  • Once dormant bank accounts are observed, they shall be reported quarterly to banking supervision or other financial institution supervision department of CBN.
  • In line with the uniform account operating policy, every customer shall provide a next of kin when opening an account.
  • Three months to dormancy, the bank shall notify the account holder of the status of the account. For individual account holders the bank cannot reach, they should contact their next of kin.
  • Reactivation of inactive/dormant accounts shall not attract any fee from the account holder.
  • Dormant account balances shall be covered by Deposit insurance Scheme.

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Reactivation of dormant bank account is the act or practice of bringing back to life or existence an account that has already gone dormant being out of activities, ready for business transactions again.

In the light of the above, yes, you can reactivate a dormant account and start using it again for your business activities as you so wished.


From the circular above, when an account goes full one year (1yr) without any business activity or transaction which could involve cash deposit, withdrawal, fund transfer, ATM activities etc, it goes dormant after a short notice as now directed by Central Bank of Nigeria.


A lot of factors could be responsible for dormant bank accounts, judging from past experience, death of the account holder, owning multiple bank accounts with different banks, poor services both on the side of the bank management and its employee had contributed a lot to customers abandoning their accounts with such banks


So you are ready to reactivate your dormant bank account finally, the process is really easy and seamless. Take the following steps:

  • Pick your valid ID card which could be any of the following, national ID card, permanent voters card, international passport or BVN. Also remember to take along your recent utility bill or NEPA bill generally called.
  • Head to any of your bank branch.
  • Walk straight to the customer service point, tell them you want to reactivate your dormant account.
  • You will be issued a Dormant bank account Reactivation form, fill the form correctly and appropriately. They could even fill a premise visitation report for you to probably update your current place of residence though your utility bill can cover that. Once you are done, hand it over to them.
  • Your account will be active within 24 hours. And you can commence your business transactions with your account. The service is free of charge. You can as well visit for guidelines.


Dormant bank bank accounts can only be reactivated at the bank branch.

There hasn’t been online facility modified for such purpose at the moment.

This service is restricted to physical presence to counter fraudulent activities that could arise as a result of third party having access to customer’s account  to effect reactivation then move funds in such account using any e-channel platform.


The simple answer is yes, you are allowed to make payments into dormant account, but you cannot withdraw such funds except you reactivate the account.

NB: Once a bank account goes dormant, it automatically goes to PND status, which means “place no debit”.


This is one question my readers have continued to ask, and I think I should do justice to it at this point.

There’s specifically no definite format for writing a letter to the bank, requesting reactivation of a dormant account.
However, kindly use the below as a guideline

Write your address at the top right corner of the paper, date inclusive.

Then address your letter to the bank manager at the left end just below your own address, but at the left.

The Bank manager Access Bank PLC,
Asaba branch… As the case may be.

Then comes the body of the letter, which starts with introduction like Sir/Madam

Then the heading of your letter which should look like something like this


Kindly use this as an instruction to reactivate my savings/current account with your bank.

Account name: Ike Ahmadu Kola
Account number: 0065****78

Yours in business
Sign your signature here
Write your name here

That’s all as simple as that.


Reactivation of dormant bank accounts in any of these banks is not a rocket science.
It’s just as obtainable in other banks.

All you have to do is walk into your bank with valid ID card and probably utility bill as the case may be.

You could be required to fill a customer information update form. PVR could follow I.e Premises Verification Report, to be done by your account officer or any officer in charge or available at the moment.

First bank dormant account reactivation form is the same as you will obtain in other banks for dormant accounts reactivation.


Bank dormant account reactivation period is normally less than 24 hours, you are not expected to pay a fee for reactivation and you can start using your account instantly upon reactivation notice, that’s all you need to know on reactivation of dormant bank accounts.

10 comments on “How to reactivate dormant bank accounts in Nigeria

Raphael Orji
Oladimeji muritala adesina

Please I want reactivate my account i don’t have NEPA bill and I’d card please I need this account urgently please help me out on this

Raphael Orji
moses onofurho

please,it’s very urgently, that you respond quickly to my request
i want to reactive my account,but i’m not in nigeria
please it’s very urgent
the email above is not linked to the account
i also lost the number linked to the account

Hello Moses!
You’ll have to contact your bank and sign up for email indemnity, this is the only way you can have instructions carried out in your order while resident outside the country.

With the above in place, you’ll request for a customer information update.

Raphael Orji

Pls when you make deposit into a dormant account. Will it reflect on the account balance.

Raphael Orji
Sanni Kehinde Rasheed

Pls when someone make a deposit into dormant account will it reflect in the account

Hello Sanni,

When a deposit is made in a dormant account, it will sure reflect. However you may not be able to effect withdrawal unless such account is reactivated.

Raphael Orji

Please sir can i have your number?

Raphael Orji
kangwa Sunday

Firstly, thank you for this informative piece. I recently travelled overseas and my account with ZENITH BANK was classified dormant. to make matters worst, i lost my Nigerian sim card that I registered with the bank. I contacted my bank my bank for account reactivation purposes and was told to utility bill of the address that I used in opening the account (Nigerian NEPA bill) My account officer blatantly told me to DHL her my former address’ Utility bill or come down to Nigeria to update the account, that my account can’t be reactivated if I’m not in Nigeria.
Now, I have to buy a flight ticket down to Nigeria just to submit NEPA bill and write letter of reactivation to my account manager, because she denied accepting scanned copies of any these documents.

K. Sunday
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Raphael Orji

Good evening
I tried depositing money into my dormant account but it is saying unable to retrieve account name

Raphael Orji
Emeka ikeli

I don’t have any valid ID is there any way to reactivate my account number

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