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CBN’s cash withdrawal policy’ll frustrate business in north –ACF



The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has described the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cash withdrawal limits policy as unrealistic.

Recall that the nation’s apex bank last Tuesday announced that it was limiting cash withdrawals at over-the-counter N100,000 for individuals, with a 5 per cent processing fee for amounts above the cap. For corporate organisations, the limit is N500,000, with a 10 per cent charge for amounts above the limit.

Limitations were also placed on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with a daily limit of N20,000 and instructions to load only N200 and low Naira denomination In ATMs.

The new policy slated to begin on January 9, 2023, has been greeted with different reactions.

The ACF made this known in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, on Friday, in Kaduna.

The Northern socio-political group expressly noted that the policy would amount to a catastrophic collapse of the informal sector, noting that it would frustrate business men and women in the rural areas, in the North, who are not familiar with online cash transaction.

The statement reads in part: “A huge amount of time and money is needed to print the currency and a lot more still to steer it through the system.

“The currency notes themselves have a shelf life after which they have to be replaced. Cash is the lifeblood of the underworld: difficult to trace and quite convenient for terrorists, money launderers, smugglers, vote buyers, etc.

“So, yes, the less cash available for all these criminals as the CBN is trying to achieve, the better for law-abiding citizens.

READ ALSO: CBN’s cash withdrawal limits illegal – Falana

“That said, we do need to remember that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

“CBN officials may have the best of intentions while contemplating this policy but evidently failed to consider the unintended consequences of implementing it in the way they have planned; consequences that may be extremely grave.

“If the CBN insists on implementing this wholly unrealistic policy of restricting individual’s cash withdrawal from the banks to N20,000 per day and N100,000 for a week or N500,000 in the case of corporate bodies, it won’t be long before we suffer a catastrophic collapse of the informal sector of the economy.

“More than anyone, CBN knows that transactions in commodity markets especially in the rural areas are entirely cash-based.

“The villager that brings to the market his chickens, beans, onions, goat or cows does not typically have a bank account or internet skills.

“Cash remains the overwhelming medium of exchange for much of the country, particularly in the North.

“This should surprise no one as bank offices are largely unavailable even for people who are keen and have the skills to use them.”

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