Approximately a week to the commencement of the circulation of the newly redesigned naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a new policy that mandates banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.
The revised cash withdrawal limits are contained in a circular the CBN issued today, with the apex bank stating the policy would take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023.
Although the CBN was silent on its intention on the new policy, informed analysts believe it may not be unconnected with the naira redesign policy, which the CBN initiated to check unregulated circulation of over 80 per cent funds in circulation.
“This policy is part of strategy to check unregulated circulation of currency in the country,” an economist, Kingsley Obiakor, told The ICIR.
According to the policy, the maximum cash withdrawal via an automated teller machine (ATM) shall be restricted to N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day. It further restricts point of sales (POS) withdrawal to N20,000 daily.
The policy states that only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded in ATMs.
The new policy, according to the CBN, encourages customers to use alternative channels like internet banking, mobile banking app and the eNaira for financial transactions.
After the policy takes effect, all cash withdrawals in excess of the stated limits for individuals and corporate entities will attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.