Senators express discomfort with CBN’s cash withdrawal limit


Senators express discomfort with CBN’s cash withdrawal limit

Nigerian senators on Wednesday knocked the new Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) policy on cash withdrawals, saying it would make many businesses collapse in the country.

The CBN, under the new withdrawal policy that was announced on Tuesday, had restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. It also limited individual Point of Service (PoS) withdrawal to N20, 000 per day.

Via a circular titled ‘Naira Redesign Policy – Revised Cash Withdrawal’, the CBN had said the policy would take effect on January 9, 2023.

Senate minority leader, Phillip Aduda (PDP, FCT), during Wednesday’s plenary, called the attention of his colleagues to the new policy while seconding a motion that the nominations of Mrs Aishah Ahmad and Mr Edward Lametek Adamu as CBN Deputy Governors be referred to the committee for screening.

Aduda called for caution on the cash withdrawal limit, saying the policy would hurt the country’s economy.

“Our commerce, I think, is not is not ready for this and our economy cannot take this shock.

“There is need for us to speak about it because people are suffering and it is a very serious issue,” he said.

Corroborating Aduda’s position, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) asked the Senate to debate the policy immediately for the sake of Nigerians, whom, he said, were extremely worried.

“My phone was inundated by calls from constituents, who are outside the formal sector. People are extremely worried. You should have allowed us to discuss this issue for the sake of Nigerians,” he said.

Senate president call for caution

In his remarks during the plenary, Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, cautioned the CBN not to approach the policy by jumping into it at once, saying many Nigerians would be affected.

He further noted that there was the need for the National Assembly to engage the CBN to get more details on the policy.

He, therefore, directed the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to discuss the matter during the screening of the CBN Deputy Governors.

Lawan also assured that the new policy would be thoroughly debated next Tuesday.

“At the moment, I will advise that these two deputy governors had been in the CBN for the past four years. So, they are part of this system. They are not new people.

“This should be part of the major issues to be raised when they appear for screening.

“I want us to be properly informed and guided. Most of us if not all of us have not had an engagement with that institution.

“My personal opinion is: if we want to be a cashless society, we should take time to be cashless society and not to jump on it at once. Most Nigerians will be out of business.

“But we need to take the opportunity of the screening to be better informed on the policy,” he said.


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