Cashless policy: CBN sways Senate panel on N100, 000 cash withdrawal…Says policy introduced since 2012 

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As controversies continue to trail the planned policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to limit cash withdrawal for individuals at N100, 000 and corporate bodies N500, 000 per week, the bank has succeeded in convincing the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions of the need for it.

The policy as disclosed by the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Mrs. Aishat Ahmad, was introduced in 2012 during former President Good luck Jonathan’s administration and extended to Abuja and six other states in 2013.

She said this during screening exercise carried out on her and her counterparts on Corporate Services, Edward Lametek Adamu, for re-appointments by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

According to her, the cashless policy being fully implemented by CBN now is not new as required steps in that direction were taken in 2012, with Lagos state as a pilot scheme and Abuja and six other states in 2013.

She said though full implementation of the policy had not been carried out by the apex bank since then, its introduction then had brought a lot of transformation in the banking and payment system.

“I’m happy for the opportunity given to make presentations on the planned N100, 000 withdraw limit for individuals and N500, 000 for corporate bodies per week beginning from January 9, 2023, in line with the cashless policy introduced in 2012.

“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy with proposed limit on cash withdrawals per week is now. The required infrastructure for its implementation in terms of financial access point system, mobile money, e-Naira, etc, are available across the 774 local government councils in the country.

“All fears and worries being expressed by Nigerians on the planned limited cash withdrawal policy are seriously being taken care of as nobody or section of Nigerians, will be left out.

“In the past, banking transactions in Nigeria were limited to Bank Branches alone as the only means, which has now expanded into multiple electronic platforms as well as a geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4 million,” she said.

She, however, said the CBN “is flexible and will be ready to accommodate opinions that won’t make the policy strenuous to any category of Nigerians during implementation.”

After her presentation, the Committee chaired by Senator Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) gave the two nominees the ‘take a bow and go treatment’ as moved by the Whip , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and seconded by Senator Danjuma Goje.

Senator Sani, in his remarks, said: “With presentation made by the deputy governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Aisha Ndanusa Ahmad, on the planned limited cash withdrawal , required information on the merits of the policy has been given and will be communicated to the Senate in plenary through our report.

“The two deputy governors having earlier been screened before serving their first tenures need not to again as unanimously agreed by members of the Committee. They should, therefore, take a bow and go.”

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