Cash Withdrawal: CBN Governor Insists On limits, Reps Demand Suspension

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, said the Nigerian economy was overdue to go cashless as the Federal Government had sufficiently invested in the required payment system infrastructure to make the transition seamless.

Emefiele said this shortly after meeting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at his native hometown of Daura, Katsina State.

Controversies have trailed the CBN’s latest policy which limits daily cash withdrawals to N20, 000 and weekly withdrawals of N100,000 for individuals.

But defending the CBN’s directive, Emefiele said, “I think it’s important for me to say that the cashless policy started in 2012. But on almost three to four occasions, we had to step down the policy because we felt that there is a need for us to prepare ourselves and deepen our payment system infrastructure in Nigeria.

“Between 2012 and 2022, almost about 10 years, we believe that a lot of electronic channels have been put in place that will aid people in conducting banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

“And we think Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa needs to leapfrog into the cashless economy. We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank. More and more countries that are embracing digitisation have gone cashless.”

Responding to the National Assembly’s rebuttal of the policy, Emefiele said the withdrawal limits were not cast in stone but would be reviewed upwards with time.

He argued that the CBN did not wish to make life difficult for Nigerians but only sought to better the economy.

“We will be reviewing from time to time how this is working because I cannot say that we are going to be rigid. But it is not to say that we will reverse, it is not to say that we will change the timing, but whether it is about tweaking some amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, and all the rest of them.”

He added that the CBN would publish the names of all of its 1.4 million super agents to ease the return of old monies in unbanked communities.

On the amount of the old notes that had been returned to vaults, he said, “We have taken more than have a trillion and in the bank we also have close to half a trillion.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives summoned Emefiele to come and explain the policy to the parliament. He is to appear before the lawmakers on Thursday.

However, the House is considering a joint session with the Senate to grill Emefiele on Tuesday.

-Punch

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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