Nigeria: CBN encourages cashless options despite upward review of cash withdrawal limits to N500,000, N5m

As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced an upward review of cash withdrawal limits to N500, 000 and N5 million for individuals and corporate accounts respectively, it has encouraged customers to still use alternative channels like Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, POS and eNaira to conduct banking transactions.

Haruna Mustapha, CBN’s Director, Banking Supervision said that bank and mobile agents were important participants in the financial system, enabling access to financial services in underserved and rural communities.

“They will continue to perform strategic functions in line with existing regulations governing their activities.

“The CBN recognises the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and will ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society,” he said.

He warned all banks and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) that aiding and abetting the circumvention of the new policy would attract severe sanctions.

The apex bank also reviewed downward, the stipulated percentage cost for withdrawals above the stipulated limits.

According to Mustapha, in compelling circumstances where cash withdrawals above the limits is required, they shall be subject to a processing fee of three per cent and five per cent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.

The apex bank, in a statement on Dec. 6, indicated that beginning from Jan 9, 2023, the amounts individuals and corporate organisations could withdraw per week would not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.

The decision had, however, received criticisms from a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the National Assembly, who urged the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to increase the withdrawal limits.

The House of Representatives had also invited Emefiele to make further clarifications on the policy to its members.