After being told on Day 1 that my passport was not ID, I went to my father to discuss my situation. To my surprise, he laughed and told me, "how can someone employed by a multinational bank tell you your passport is not ID?" Now, I had some renewed vigour, I was going back there to speak to whomever was necessary to get my account.
Fresh passport photographs, check. Utility Bill, check. ID (My Passport), check. Completed Account Registration Form, Signed and Dated, check. Seems legit, on to the bank we go.
So I get there, this time I'm not talking to Folake. I go straight to customer service who refer me to, let's call her Boss lady. So I walk up to Ms. Boss Lady the same way I had done previously. Obviously my passport is ID, obviously I can open my account, obviously this is only the beginning of my headache.
Upon reviewing my documentation, she looks at me so casually and says she'll need 2 references along with my account application and documents. At this point, I'm confused. Had I accidentally filled out a job application? Was it possible I unknowingly asked for a credit card? Was she even looking at MY application? Surely, I can't possibly need to ask two other people to vouch for me so that I can save my money with my bank. So of course I retort, "references, why? is it that serious?" She just brushes off my comments and hands me the reference forms and says the references must also bank with us.
So back to the drawing board, I have navigated the first hurdle of my passport not being recognized as ID, all my supporting documentation seems intact, just to find two other people who also bank with GTBank. My mom banks with them that's easy, so I hand her one of the forms to help me fill, now to find a second. I realize my mother's driver is in a queue to withdraw some money. YES! Quickly I rush to him and kindly request he be my second reference. I get back in line, I can already smell the victory. Two days to open an account is horrible. How can I need two days to open an account really, I thought to myself. At least it is over, God is on my side, we got this!
Obviously, this is only day 2. So nope, nope we don't got this.
Lo and behold, due to the fact that my second reference only has a savings account and not a current account nor foreign currency account, he is not suitable to be a reference for me.
I am blessed in the morning, in my going out and my coming in but dear Lord, let today be the day.
So my mom's PA has a current account with the bank, I got an extra reference form on the way out on Day 2 which he was kind to complete on my behalf. With that last hurdle seemingly out of the way, it's showtime!
I go specifically to Folake to ask for Ms. Boss Lady, just so she knows this is my day of victory. Petty, slightly but I mean what is life without a little fun. Anyway, Ms. Boss Lady approves, all I need to do is go to customer service and formalize the whole thing. Hi 5!
At this point, I'm almost overconfident and beaming with happiness after successfully navigating the terrain that is Nigerian Banking. I get there, a short, well dressed and soft spoken gentleman attends to me, let's call him Captain Money. He starts entering my documentation into his computer but after a while stops to write a couple of numbers on a piece of paper. As a software developer, I know when a computer is throwing errors like Oprah gives gifts at the end of her show. Oh no! Karma is getting me back for being petty a minute ago.
He hands it to me and says to go back to Ms. Boss Lady. Basically, since I do not live in Nigeria, I had used my mother's phone number as my primary number but that number is already tied to her accounts. I just changed the number to my temporary one I was using.
Back with Cpt. Money, he finishes up the loose ends and informs me my account number will be ready under 24 hours. I should receive it by text and/or email. Once I receive that, he assures me I will be ready to enrol for my BVN, which will be tomorrow.