CBN’s Withdrawal Limit Policy Is Targeted Against Politicians – Gov. Fintiri

Godwin Emefiele

Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri believes the cash withdrawal limits imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under Governor Godwin Emefiele are intended to harm politicians.

The governor also claimed that the policy, which came shortly after Emefiele’s failed political bid, could only be retaliatory.

Fintiri went on to criticize the CBN, saying, “What is breeding poverty?” Policies affecting the economy. Consider the one that the Central Bank is about to implement, which will further impoverish the country. Nobody is arguing that the economy should not go cashless, but it must be done gradually and methodically.

“We shouldn’t do it as if some people wanted to be politicians and they were denied the opportunity, then they use their office to punish the politicians.”

The Adamawa State governor made these remarks during his 2023 governorship campaign engagement in Kala’a, a community in Hong local government area of the state.

Meanwhile, amid public outcry, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele stated that there will be no going back on the new cash 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.

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Emefiele made the declaration on Thursday after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in his country home in Daura, Katsina State.

While Reacting to dissenting voices from the National Assembly and the public over the cash withdrawal policy, the CBN governor told journalists that the limitation was not intended to hurt anyone. He also revealed that the new naira notes have already been disbursed to the various commercial banks and expect that banks would begin distribution to the public.

Reacting, some Nigerians particularly owners of Point Of Sale (POS) businesses decried the effect of the policy on them.

In the same vein, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, believes the poor masses will be negatively affected by the new policy of the country’s Central Bank which 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.

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On Twitter, Sowore wrote: “@GodwinIEmefiele & @mBuhari “redesigned” the naira and it was a spectacular failure . Now they couldn’t print enough of the so-called redesigned naira, now they’ve come after the poor & hapless people of Nigeria with this rubbish. Some fake economists will call it cashless policy.”.

Sowore’s comment triggered diverse reactions online as many Nigerians share mixed views.

The CBN’s letter to banks in this regard, titled, “Letter to All Deposit Money Banks (DMBS) and Other Financial Institutions (Payment Service Banks (PSBs). Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs): NAIRA REDESIGN POLICY – REVISED CASH WITHDRAWAL LIMITS,” read:

“Further to the launch of the redesigned Naira notes by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 and in line with the Cash- less policy of the CBN, all deposit money banks (DMBS) and other financial institutions (OFIs) are hereby directed to note and comply with the following:

“1. The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organizations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5% and 10%, respectively.

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“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 (ATM) shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of 20,000 cash withdrawal per day. 4. Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

“5. The maximum cash withdrawal via point of sale (POS) terminal shall be N20,000 daily.

“6. In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is 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.

“Further to (6) above, you are required to obtain the following information at the minimum and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose.”

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