Withdrawal Limit Is Aimed At Increasing Cashless Policy – CBN

Withdrawal Limit Is Aimed At Increasing Cashless Policy - CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refuted claims that its new policy restricting cash withdrawals is aimed specifically at Point-of-Sale (PoS) agents.

Though the apex bank set the weekly withdrawal limit for individuals and organizations at N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, it allowed for compelling cases to withdraw up to N5 million or N10 million.

“Let me just correct an impression: not in any way are they (PoS agents) endangered,” the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mustafa Haruna, said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s program on Saturday.

“When you do the numbers, how much does a typical agent outlet need in a day?

“People need to just see this as a policy that is intended at contributing to economic growth and development, and when Nigerians know the enormous benefits inherent in this policy, I’m very sure it will shift mindsets.

“It is typical when you introduce something new, there is always that trepidation and apprehension.

“But that is why we are also combining it with extensive and sustained campaigns and sensitisation just to ensure that Nigerians understand what is at play, what is involved, and what is in it for them.”

Haruna cited the apex bank’s December 6 circular, which stated that if an individual or organization requires an amount above the set limit due to “compelling circumstances,” there are conditions to meet.

Withdrawals above the limit will be subject to processing fees of five and ten percent for individuals and corporate entities, respectively, in addition to “enhanced due diligence and further information requirements,” according to the CBN.

Applicants must also upload the following documents to the CBN’s portal: a valid means of identification for the payee (National ID, International Passport, Driver’s License); the payee’s Bank Verification Number (BVN); and a notarised customer declaration of the purpose for the cash withdrawal; senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable; and written approval by the MD/CEO of the bank authorising the withdrawal.

According to Haruna, the CBN has seen exponential growth in agent networks throughout Nigeria, which he describes as “quite ubiquitous.”

“There is hardly any nuke or cranny in Nigeria where you go that you won’t see one agent outlet or the other where they do cash-in, cash-out services. Such customers can take advantage of those services,” the CBN director said.

“But to the point about the quantum of naira such a customer would need, of course, this is an evolutionary process; we will get there. And if you have such a need for a high volume of cash, you can always go to your bank to say, ‘Look, this is my business,’ and they will be able to (attend to you).”

According to him, the CBN policy aimed at expanding the cashless policy, which was first implemented as a pilot program in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja a decade ago. He explained that due to the high cost of currency management, the policy needed to be scaled up.

“We started since 2012 and we had some charges that you have to pay, although the revised limit and charges are different from what we had. This is not something new. We feel we should take things to a high level if we must make progress, in line with global trends,” he said.

Leave a Reply