Financial experts have backed the review of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s proposed cash withdrawal limit policy for individuals and corporates.
They said this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the experts spoke against the background of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s comment that government would not be rigid in the implementation of the cashless policy.
Emefiele, who spoke with newsmen in Daura, Katsina State, after briefing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), said the policy would be reviewed from time to time to accommodate the concerns raised by the people.
A former Executive Secretary, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Uju Ogubunka, said the apex bank proposing to review the policy was a welcome development.
“Proposing to review the withdrawal policy is the best because it’s not practicable due to today’s economic realities.
“What can N20,000 really buy in today’s Nigeria considering the steady rise in inflation rate in recent times?” Ogubunka asked.
He noted that the Federal Government should be more concerned with investing in key infrastructure that would expedite the growth of the cashless policy and deepen financial inclusion.
Ogubunka said such investment should be in the hinterlands where the internet penetration was quite weak with fewer sophisticated phones to carry out such transactions.
“The CBN needs to continue to educate the people on the importance of having a cashless financial system and its implication to the economy,” he said.
Also, a former President of the CIBN, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, urged the apex bank not to be rigid in the implementation of the policy.
Unegbu also said the announcement of the redesigned notes was already having noticeable impact on the nation’s currency.
“The redesigned notes policy is quite commendable as the naira is freely losing its value to other currencies.
“We expect the currency to overtime begin to gain some value, as the apex. bank is firmly in control and the level of arbitrage will abate,” he said.
He noted that the redesigned notes could be managed in ways that people engaged in nefarious acts would not. find it easy to continue without being apprehended.
NAN reports that the apex on December 6 put a limit on cash withdrawal made by individuals and organisations. The CBN had, in the memo introducing the policy, said third- party cheque above N50,000 would no longer be eligible for Over-The-Counter payment, while extant limits of
N10million on clearing cheques still remained.
The circular also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their Automated Teller Machines and restricted withdrawal to N20,000 per day from the ATMs.
Withdrawals from Point of Sales terminals were also limited to N20,000 daily.
The policy, which will become effective on January 9, 2023, had generated criticisms.