Following the implementation of the new cash withdrawal limit policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which took place on 9th January 2023, across banks in the nation, some customers have expressed displeasure over the recent development. A bank customer, identified as Sola Adewale, who spoke to our correspondent in Mowe, Ogun State, said, “I personally think putting a limit on how people should spend money they worked for is crazy. N500,000 weekly withdrawal limit may be too much for some people while it is too small for others. This affects some businesses that need a lot of cash. He added, “Putting a limit on cash expenditures won’t reform Nigeria in any way because the people who spend lavishly will still have access to whatever amount of money they need. So at the end of the day, it’s the common man that will suffer the most.”
Another bank customer, Grace Chukwu, who spoke in Ogba, Lagos, said, “I am an entrepreneur with three companies. I use First Bank, FCMB, Zenith Bank, and Sterling Bank. I will use this opportunity to applaud the service I receive from First Bank, Sterling Bank, and other banks. I’m not really bothered because I hardly transact with cash, I do bank transfers most time.
“But I can understand how this new policy will affect other organizations and people who still don’t trust the available Internet banking options in our rural and urban communities and need to move funds above the amount permitted via Internet banking. I’ve been a victim myself a few times. So, I don’t blame them. And let’s face it, cash is still king. I feel they should review it.”
A customer, Solomon Onyebuchi, in Abeokuta, said, “This is arrant nonsense and unacceptable. What’s the essence of this policy to the economy? They just want us to suffer while the rich ones don’t have any issues.” Several other customers across the country have challenged the latest policy of the CBN.
Recall that on the 6th December 2022, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emfiele had given a directive that with effect from 9th January 2023, the maximum over-the-counter cash withdrawal limit by individuals and corporate organizations per week, would be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively, adding that withdrawals above these limits would attract processing fees of five percent and 10 percent respectively. It further stated that the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machines from January 9, would be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
Emefiele had succumbed to pressure and revised the bank's aforementioned withdrawal limit in an upward review to the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organizations to N 500,000 and N5m respectively.