Supreme Court Nullifies CBN's Cash Withdrawal Limit, Calls it Illegal

Supreme Court Nullifies CBN's Cash Withdrawal Limit, Calls it Illegal

  • The Supreme Court has said that CBN's cash withdrawal limit is illegal and against the fundamental rights of Nigerians
  • The apex court stated this while delivering judgment against the federal government on the naira redesign policy
  • CBN neither confirmed nor denied the apex court's ruling but said the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes are legal in line with the Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court has said that the cash withdrawal limits set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) violate Nigerians' rights.

The seven-man panel, which extended the validity of the N200, N500, and N1000 old notes, declared that the CBN was wrong in imposing the limit on Nigerians.

CBN, Supreme Court, cash withdrawal limit
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: Facebook

Supreme Court slams CBN's policy

The Supreme Court said:

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"Such restriction on an owner's right to freely use his or her property is illegal unless provided for by a law," Emmanuel Agim, a member of the court's panel who read the lead judgment, held.

According to a Premium Times report, the apex court stated this in the suit challenging the Federal Government's withdrawal of the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes from circulation.

The Nigerian government, via the demonetisation policy, in October last year, introduced redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to replace the old banknotes in circulation within three months.

The CBN, under the policy, placed withdrawal limits of N500,000 weekly on individuals and N5 million on corporate bodies.

CBN makes u-turn says N200, N500 and N1000 notes are legal tender

On Monday, March 13, 2023, the CBN gave in to pressure from Nigerians and announced that the banknotes are now legal, in compliance with the Supreme Court order.

But the apex bank was silent on the withdrawal limit.

CBN's Director of Corporate Communications, Isa Abdulmumin, has yet to respond to questions from, seeking to know what the bank will do concerning the withdrawal limit.

CBN may reverse the withdrawal limit

There have been speculations that the regulatory bank would maintain the already-established withdrawal limit.

A banker who spoke to on anonymity stated that he does not believe CBN will lift the withdrawal limit since the Supreme Court judgment was vague.

He said commercial banks are waiting for CBN to reinforce or set aside the cash withdrawal limit.

"The only entity the banks respond to is CBN, and as long as it has not said anything in this regard, the banks won't comply. This is the core of CBN's cashless policy," he stated.

Nigerians also await CBN's response if it will also return the withdrawal bar to the pre-October 2022 limit.

CBN asks banks to obtain customer's permission before sharing personal data in new operational guidelines reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released new operational guidelines for open banking on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

The new guidelines set principles for data-sharing across the banking and payment ecosystems.

In circular PSM/DIR/PUB/001/043, dated March 7, 2023, the apex bank stated that the guidelines would establish greater access to customer-centric data-sharing between banks and third-party companies.


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