The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the implementation of the new cash withdrawal policy slated for January 9, 2023, pending compliance with the provisions of the Act establishing the bank.
The House also summoned CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emiefele, in accordance with the provisions of the Central Bank Act to brief the Chamber on several policies of the bank in recent times.
There was anger in the House on Thursday as members took turns to condemn the new cash withdrawal policy, saying it will grossly affect small businesses and the economy since most rural communities don’t have access to banks.
However, following a Point of Order raised by Mark Gbillah on the provisions of the Central Bank Act, the House directed the CBN Governor to appear before the House, on Thursday, December 15, 2022, to brief the House on why the policy should be allowed to stand.
The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) had imposed fresh cash withdrawal limits on individuals and organisations, which takes effect from January 9, 2023.
According to a memo to banks issued on Tuesday and signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna B. Mustafa, individuals will only be able to withdraw N100,000 per week (from over-the-counter, Point of Sale Machines or the Automated Teller Machines), while organisations can access N500,000 per week.
Banks have also been directed to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATM.
The memo read, “Further to the launch of the redesigned naira notes by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, and in line with the cashless policy of the CBN, all deposit money banks and other financial institutions are hereby directed to note and comply with the following:
“1. The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5% and 10%, respectively.
“2. Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.
“3. The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
“4. Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.
“5. The maximum cash withdrawal via the point of sale (PoS) terminal shall be N20,000 daily.”
The CBN said in compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits would be required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000.00 and N10,000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements.
It also said banks were required to obtain the following information at the minimum and upload the same on the CBN portal created for the purpose:
“a. Valid means of identification of the payee (National Identity Card, International Passport, Drivers License.). b. Bank Verification Number of the payee. c. Notarised customer declaration of the purpose of the cash withdrawal. d. Senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable. e. Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the bank authorising the withdrawal.
“Please further note the following:
Monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision Department.
Compliance with extant AMUCFT regulations relating to the KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc., is required in all circumstances.
iii. Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS. eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.
“Finally, please note that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.
“The above regulatory directives take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023. Please be guided accordingly,” the memo added.