CBN: We May Adjust Cash Withdrawal Limits, But Policy Won’t Be Reversed
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has ruled out the possibility of reversing the ongoing implementation of the cashless policy.
Despite criticisms trailing the CBN’s newly introduced policy on cash withdrawal limits, Emefiele said the policy is not meant to hurt anybody but to strengthen the nation’s economy.
Emefiele said this while speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina state.
He said many nations were adopting digitisation and going cashless.
TalkGlitz had reported that the CBN unveiled revised cash withdrawal limits with a maximum of N100,000 cash withdrawal per week for individuals and N500,000 cash per week for corporate bodies.
But the Senate faulted the bank on the grounds of timing, arguing that it might worsen the tight economic environment.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives directed CBN to rescind its decision on the revised cash withdrawal limits, and demand he appears before the House.
However, Emefiele said there were no plans to reverse the new cash withdrawal policy, but added that any necessary assessments of the policy’s specifics will be carried out after performance was assessed.
“We will be reviewing from time to time how this is working because I cannot say that we are going to be rigid,” Emefiele said.
“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 tricking (sic) some amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, and all the rest of them.
“We will do so because we are humans, we want to make sure that we are making life good for our people. We do not want to make life difficult for them.
“So, there is no need for anybody to worry, the central bank is monitoring what is happening and I can assure everyone that we are up and alive to our responsibilities and we will do what is right for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“We think, Nigeria as a big country, the biggest economy in Africa, that we need 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.”
Emefiele further said the policy was not targeted at specific persons or groups.
“I said it at different fora, that this is not targeted at anybody, it’s just meant for the good and development of the Nigerian economy and we can only continue to appeal to Nigerians to please see this policy the way we have presented it,” he explained.
The CBN boss also said N1 trillion of existing denominations of the currency has been received by the banking system.
“We have taken more than half a trillion and in the bank, we also have close to half a trillion. But what we have done in the central bank is to move more people from different departments into currency processing so that they can process this cash as quickly as possible and from there, banks can now move what they have with them,” he said.
He added that banks have started dispensing the new cash which reached their various offices on Wednesday to their customers.
“I can only just assure you that it will go around, let us just be calm, luckily the old currency continued to be legal tender till January 31, 2023.
“So, I want to crack a joke, both the painted (new notes) and unpainted (old notes) will operate concurrently as legal tender. But by January 31, the unpainted one will not be useful to you again, so please take it to your bank as quickly as possible.”