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Cashless Policy: Policy not new, CBN tells Senate

In defence of its policy on cash withdrawal limits, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said, the policy wasn’t new and not targeted at anyone.

The apex bank team made their position known to Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, saying the policy of N100,000 and N500,000 withdrawal limits in the interest of the nation.

Amid the controversy trailing the policy, Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Mrs Aishat Ahmad recalled that the policy was similarly introduced in 2012 during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and extended to Abuja and six other states in 2013.

Mrs Ahmad and Mr Edward Lametek made themselves available before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for screening to be reappointed as Deputy governors of the Central Bank on Friday in Abuja.

She said there was a pilot scheme on cashless policy with the necessary steps taken in 2012 in Lagos, Abuja and six other states.

She noted that, though full implementation of the policy has not been carried out by CBN since then, but its introduction then has brought a lot of transformation in the banking and payment system.

“Distinguished Chairman of this committee and members, I’m happy for the opportunity given to make presentations on the planned N100,000 withdrawal limit for individuals and N500, 000 for Corporate Bodies per week, beginning from 9th January 2023, in line with the cashless policy introduced in 2012 .

“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy with a proposed limit on cash withdrawals per week is now.

“Required infrastructure for its implementation of the policy has been put in place, in terms of financial access point system, mobile money, e-naira, hence, there was no need for fears.

“In the past, banking transactions in Nigeria were limited to Bank Branches alone as the only means, which has now expanded into multiple electronic platforms as well as a geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4 million”, she said.

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