Cash withdrawal limit: Experts task CBN on additional reviews

Economic experts have asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for additional reviews as reaction continued to trail the reversal of its cash withdrawal limit to N500,000 and N5 million for individual and corporate account holders, respectively.

This comes after a barrage of pressure from politicians, POS operators and Nigerians on the attendant effect of the apex bank’s earlier policy that pegged cash withdrawal limits at N100,000 and N500,000 weekly for personal and corporate accounts.

In what seems like a respite, the CBN on Wednesday, in a letter signed by Director Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustapha, to banks and all financial institutions, announced a reversed edition of the Naira redesign Policy.

Outside the increase in cash withdrawal limits, CBN said the new Policy will come into effect on the 9th of January 2023.

In a chat on Wednesday in his reaction to the development, an Accounting and Financial Development don at Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof Godwin Oyedokun, called for further reviews.

He stated that the CBN should also consider reviewing the period the old currency would cease to be legal tender.

Oyedokun added that the CBN should implement the Policy in phases to reduce its economic effect, especially on Nigerians in rural areas.

“It is a good development, and I have suggested earlier that reviewing this Policy is inevitable. What was set out earlier by the Central Bank of Nigeria was not bad; it was to taste the waters and feel the pulse of the people.

“Further review may be that let’s take it phase by phase. Lagos, Kano and Portharcourt first while others may follow. Also, a location modification may come, like in Urban or rural areas.

“N500,000 is not too small. What I expect more is the variation in the date when the old notes would remain legal tender. I don’t expect the ATM denomination to be more than N200. I also expect whatever withdrawal on individual accounts should be consolidated to N500,000 cash withdrawal limit”, he stated.

On his part, a financial inclusion/wealth management expert, Mr Idakolo Gbolade, similarly called on the CBN to implement the Policy in phases.

He added that awareness on the security feature of the new notes should be increased to guard against counterfeiting.

“The CBN is responding to pressure from politicians and other affected parties like the POS operators and market people. The Policy can also be applied in phases so that Nigerians will get used to the cashless Policy. Nigeria is still a largely cash-driven economy, and our platforms for various online transactions are unreliable. There is a need to apply the Policy in phases.

“This also shows that the government, through the CBN, is listening to the people’s concerns about the Policy.

“The CBN also needs to look at the security features of the new notes because various sources have affirmed the emergence of fake new Naira notes.

“This change will help the economy greatly because the Policy as initially designed is capable of causing disruptions in the economy”, he disclosed.

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