What is your take on the introduction of new cash withdrawal limits by CBN?


I want to commend CBN on the cash withdrawal limitation and naira redesign policies. The decision will have a positive effect in restricting criminal activities in the country. The policies will have both positive and negative effect on the citizens and most especially, it will curb the activities of robbers, bandits, kidnapper and vote buying in the coming election. It will be difficult for politicians that have the mind of buying votes to do this at this period of time because it won’t be possible for such an act to happen in the coming election and people will be able to vote for any candidate of their choice. Also, it will help reduce the actions of bandits and kidnappers because it will be difficult for victims to pay ransom in cash and any other form of payment because it will be traced. My major concern is how the people in the rural areas will find this policy. It will be hard for places where there is no network and it will be difficult for them to make payment with their phones, but with good awareness, telecom companies will be able to improve the level of network down to rural places.
Tokunbo, Lagos

I want to thank the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for coming up with the cash withdrawal limitation. Between 150 to 160 million out of the country’s population earn less than N20,000 daily. Making a cash withdrawal of N100,000 to N500,000 weekly is generous for people. I believe what they want to achieve is to make sure that bandits, criminals, kidnappers and all these politicians that keep money at home will find it difficult to use the money they obtain. It will help the value of naira against the dollar and we are already seeing the changes since the introduction of the policy was introduced.
Chima, Lagos

This can’t help the worsening depreciation of the naira. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is chasing shadows having crippled the economy with poor fiscal policies in his about 10-year regime at the apex bank. Rather than coming up with experimental and needless policies like the redesigning of the naira, cash withdrawal limits, amongst others, the apex bank and the Federal Government should cut down foreign loans and reduce Nigeria’s worsening external debt burden, which has been said by experts to be the dominant cause of naira depreciation against the United States dollar.
The daily maximum withdrawals via point of sale (PoS) terminal of N20,000 will force thousands of Nigerians who are PoS operators out of jobs when the policy takes effect nationwide from January 9, 2023. This policy is bad for the country with 21.09 per cent inflation rate, 133 million people in multidimensional poverty, and unemployment rate at over 33 per cent; meaning over 23 million employable Nigerians are jobless. The apex bank can’t boost value of naira, it can’t remit over $550 million trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines, forcing them to threaten boycott of flight operations to the country. Manufacturers are also groaning and many dying or relocating from Nigeria because of inaccessibility to forex. It banned the supply of forex to Bureau de Change, among others and now, it has introduced limits for withdrawals that makes Nigeria look like a communist economy. Yet, the naira continues to plunge in an unprecedented manner against the dollar. The next governor should borrow the wisdom of the World Bank, which advised that to achieve price stabilisation of the naira, the local currency should be allowed to respond to real pressures, and not be bottled up by the CBN.
Ben Ijeh, Ilorin

I hope the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to maintain the system. The idea is good to curb abuse of the currency. Those who see naira like paper, this system is for you. I hope PDP will not win the next election, if they win, Nigerians should expect the reverse of this system.
Ruth, Lagos

This is a way of introducing a cashless policy. The intentions are understandable but the execution and timing are not right. This is where severe problems would emerge. The government is trying to limit the use of cash for transactions more so now that they are redesigning the currency. And they may not have enough in print, so for it to go around, they have to find a way to limit us from using cash. The second thing is that the government wants to drive the use of online banking, which is good for our economy. Unfortunately, there have been so many complaints about failed transactions. At least, to the best of my knowledge, there is hardly any week without complaints in the banking hall. You will see people shouting with regard to transfer failures. Have we put enough structure to take care of some of these things? The answer is, we are yet to. We are making progress, yes, but we should give enough room and time for some of these things to play out rather than short-circuit the system. If all of us, including market women and men, have to go online today, can the infrastructure carry all of us through successfully? This question should be able to deal with some of these things.
Some of us do not need too much cash to operate. For instance, if I go to the bank in a week and withdraw N100,000; what will I be spending that money on? I mean that should be enough to use for one week. If I can do other transactions online, why not? But it is not everybody that can do this, particularly those who are trading. Most of them still depend on people coming with cash and, then, they will carry the cash to the bank to pay in. This means there will still be a need for people to have cash. Otherwise, what we are going to tell people is that you have to hold on till you have cash to do your transaction if you cannot do online banking. And the aforementioned can stall businesses. For example, the market woman going to buy food stuffs needs physical cash. Where will she do online banking with that? And can N20,000 today solve that problem for one week for a family? That’s not possible, so there might be a need for a rethink unless you are targeting people in the towns. Even in towns, I do not see the effectiveness of this policy let alone in the rural environs. It is a good policy but we should streamline to see what is possible in the kind of economy we operate, especially with inflation at double digit. The practical situation on ground does not support this policy.
Ahmed, Abeokuta

The government is trying everything possible to make the country to start practising cashless policy. Although great move but increased scope should be done cautiously. Limiting over the counter, ATM, POS withdrawal to N20,000 daily and maximum of N100K weekly will serve as a disincentive to bank deposit for traders because they would believe if they cannot access their money at will, why take it to the bank then? It will only increase the propensity to hold cash for precautionary and business measures by the general populace.
Victoria James, Lagos

This policy will be tough because we are still a cash-dominant society. Nigerians should brace up, as this is a challenge that CBN is putting out to Nigerians to embrace technology. However, the difficulty would be felt as we still have a lot of transactions done with cash, especially those that are below the pyramid such as the market women and men who are petty traders, because this in essence means that once a bag of rice or flour is to be bought, which is above N20,000, it has to be via e-banking. Looking at it, how many of these people are technology-savvy? The CBN wants to achieve an agenda which is not exactly bad. However, a longer notice should have been given to those at the bottom of the pyramid. I believe that, eventually, the adoption would scale and people would have to get acquainted irrespective of the difficulty, embracing it in the long run. However, it is still very difficult because the technological infrastructure is still not there yet, and there are those who have had bad experiences with technology as well. The implication of this policy would slow down a lot and affect a lot of things, particularly those earning more than N20,000 daily. My fears and concerns is that the policy is coming at a harsh period when the Nigerian economy is ill prepared for it. I want to urge CBN to ensure that there is an adequate alternative before any process would be scrapped.
Benedict, Lagos

The CBN governor is trying to reduce cash in circulation and drive financial inclusion, which is not a bad thing to do. With more money in the banks, the institutions would be able to provide financial interventions to those who needed it to boost the economy. The issue of people losing money in their bank accounts to cyber-attacks and fraudsters could discourage them from keeping money in banks. I want to urge the banks to address this issue and build more trust with Nigerians to drive financial inclusion and security in the country.
Irene, Abuja

While I support this policy, my only concern is that those who should implement or enforce this policy are the same officers that would be devising crooked schemes to help the thieves and money launderers to circumvent the law. These people will just turn this cashless policy into a cash cow for themselves.
Ayodele, Lagos

If well managed, this is great for control of cash in circulation, development of e-payments and perhaps will discourage the kidnappers and many men of the underworld. CBN, however, needs to pay attention to, and assist, large parts of remote residential areas especially in the north where cash is the primary mode of settlement with very poor banking penetration. Kudos to CBN for this initiative although a little late in the day.
Chuks, Lagos

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