House of Representatives has mandated authorities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt at once the revised cash withdrawal limits policy expected to commence on January 9, 2023 in response to public outcry.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to rescind its decision on the revised cash withdrawal limits’, sponsored by Honourable Aliyu Magaji.
In his lead debate, Magaji who solicited the House intervention, observed that on December 6, 2022 through a letter signed by one Haruna B. Mustafa (the director of banking operations) issued the following releases to the public, among which are: the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be 100,000 hundred thousand and 500,000 hundred thousand naira respectively.
Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of five percent and 10 percent respectively.
He said that the House is aware that majority of the small business owners in Nigeria are the major drivers of Nigeria’s economy, and who are majorly residents of rural areas and carry on their business, trade and activities in the said rural business areas and the House is further aware that the majority of these small business owners transact their businesses, trade and transactions in physical cash and are in most cases not inclined to the use of electronic banking system as most of them are illiterate, half educated or not learned at all.
Magaji added that the House is disturbed that these set of Nigerians who are the drivers of the Nigerian economy will be negatively affected and their business and source of livelihood may be impaired with these new directives of CBN. the House, he said is also disturbed that this directive of CBN has been generating serious uproar and given low income business owners serious concern since the said release as a result of the impact it may have given the short notice given by the CBN.
Although the House acknowledged that the CBN has the right to issue monetary policies on the Nigerian economy to be able to guide and direct the economy to the right path of recovery and growth.
It is concerned, however, that the new policies rolled out by the CBN will definitely have a negative impact on the already dwindling economy, and further weaken the value of the naira as Nigerians may resolve to using dollars and other currencies as a means of trading and further devalue the naira and weaken the economy.