Bank customers expresses their displeasure as several Deposit Money Banks began the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new cash withdrawal limit policy yesterday.

Recall that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had on December 21, 2022, revised the bank’s earlier cash withdrawal limits.

The CBN increased the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all platforms by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5m respectively.

For transactions above the withdrawal limits, financial institutions are mandated to get details of the customers and upload the same on the CBN portal created for the purpose.

In the earlier circular issued on the 6th of December, 2022, the CBN had said that the maximum over-the-counter cash withdrawal limit by individuals and corporate organisations per week, would be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively, effective from January 9, 2023, adding that withdrawals above these limits would attract processing fees of five per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

It further stated that the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machines from January 9, would be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

It also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs.

Following the previous directive, many stakeholders were against it. The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria said that point-of-sale operators would protest as the policy would drastically affect their source of livelihood.

However, the reviewed cash limits, which took effect yesterday faced severe opposition from bank customers who accused the central bank of being insensitive to cash-based businesses.

A bank customer in Ogun state, identified as Sola Adewale, said, “I personally think putting a limit on how people should spend money they worked for is crazy. N500,000 weekly withdrawal limit may be too much for some people while it is too small for others. This affects some businesses that need much cash.

He added, “Putting a limit on cash expenditures won’t reform Nigeria in any way because the people who spend lavishly will still have access to whatever amount of money they need. So at the end of the day, it’s the common man that will suffer the most.”

Another bank customer, Grace Chukwu, in Ogba, Lagos, said, “I am an entrepreneur with three companies. I use First Bank, FCMB, Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank. I will use this opportunity to applaud the service I receive from First Bank, Sterling Bank and other banks.   I’m not really bothered because I hardly transact with cash, I do bank transfers most time.

“But I can understand how this new policy will affect other organisations and people who still don’t trust the available Internet banking options in our rural and urban communities and need to move funds above the amount permitted via Internet banking. I’ve been a victim myself a few times. So, I don’t blame them. And let’s face it, cash is still king. I feel they should review it.”

A customer, Solomon Onyebuchi, in Abeokuta, said, “This is arrant nonsense and unacceptable. What’s the essence of this policy to the economy? They just want us to suffer while the rich ones don’t have any issues.”


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