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Buhari has my backing, cash limits sacrosanct

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has disclosed the cash withdrawal limits policy is sacrosanct and that it has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari.

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Mr Emefiele disclosed this while speaking with State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari in Daura, Katsina State.

Recall that the CBN on Tuesday unveiled a revised cash withdrawal limit with a maximum of N100,000 cash withdrawal per week for individuals and N500,000 cash per week for companies.

The limits also affect other payment channels, including Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (PoS) and cheque-based transactions.

The maximum cash withdrawal through ATM is set at N100,000 per week, subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

The maximum cash withdrawal through the PoS terminal shall be N20,000 per day. Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

He explained that the policy is not new, adding that the fears being expressed of excluding rural people were needless.

Reacting to dissenting voices from the National Assembly and the public over the cash withdrawal policy, the CBN governor told journalists that the limitation was not intended to hurt anyone.

While saying possible adjustments to the cash withdrawal limit are not ruled out, the CBN Governor said the January 9 take-off for the policy is sacrosanct.

Emefiele said: “From time to time we brief them (National Assembly) about what is happening and about our policies.

“I’m aware that they have asked for some briefings and we will brief them, but I think it’s important for me to say that the cashless policy started in 2012.

“Almost three to four occasions we have had to step down the policy because we felt that there is a need for us to prepare ourselves and deepen our payment system infrastructure in Nigeria.

“Between 2012 and now 2022, almost about 10 years, we believe that a lot of electronic channels have been put in place that will aid people in conducting banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

“We heard people talk about some of the people in the rural areas and the truth is that even online banking, as I was coming out to Daura, I saw a kiosk that has super agent today.

“It’s because of the way we felt that there was a need for us to deepen the payment system infrastructure.

“We have 1.4 million super agents that are all over different parts of the country, all local governments, and all villages in this country.

“I have told my colleagues, some of their names are already on the CBN website and we will publish all the names of all the super agents, which is different from the banks, which is different from microfinance banks, which is different from other financial institutions.

“Having 1.4 million of them is as good as having 1.4 million banking points where people can conduct services and 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.

“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.

“We will be reviewing from time to time how this is working because I cannot say that we are going to be rigid.

“But it is not to say that we will reverse it. It is not to say that we will change the timing, but whether it is about tweaking some amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, and all the rest of them (we will do it).

“We will do so because we are humans, we want to make sure that we make 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.”

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