Frustration, anger as CBN withdrawal policy comes into effect

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Over 20 Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria began implementing the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) new cash withdrawal limit policy on Monday, with bank customers expressing frustration and anger over the rule.

On December 21, 2022, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, revised the bank's earlier withdrawal limits in response to pressure from stakeholders.

The CBN raised the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels for individuals to N500,000 and for corporate organizations to N5m.

Godwin Emefiele CBN Governor
Godwin Emefiele CBN Governor

The new limits, which came into effect on Monday, faced severe opposition from bank customers who accused the central bank of not being considerate of cash-based businesses. For transactions above the withdrawal limits, financial institutions must obtain the customer's details and upload them to a CBN portal.

The previous withdrawal limits had caused a significant backlash from stakeholders. In a circular issued on December 6, 2022, the CBN stated that from January 9, 2023, the maximum over-the-counter cash withdrawal limit for individuals and corporate organizations would be N100,000 and N500,000 per week, respectively.

Withdrawals above these limits would incur processing fees of five percent and 10 percent respectively. Additionally, the maximum cash withdrawal via Automated Teller Machines would be limited to N100,000 per week, with a maximum withdrawal of N20,000 per day.

The CBN also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs, a directive that was met with protests from the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria, who claimed that point-of-sale operators would be greatly impacted and that the policy would harm their source of livelihood.

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