- Experts and small business owners have reacted to the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which limits cash withdrawals per day/week
- A Financial expert, Josh Audu, told Legit.ng the CBN's latest order was hurriedly taken without due consideration of the effects on ordinary people and businesses
- Some Point Of Sales (POS) agents in Abuja also lamented, saying the limits put on daily withdrawals will send them out of business
In its new policy, the bank ordered Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) and other financial institutions to ensure that Over-the-Counter (OTC) cash withdrawals by individuals in a week stand at N100,000, while corporate entities must not exceed N500,000.
The apex bank, in a circular signed by CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa on Tuesday, disclosed this new order.
It went further to state that withdrawal from the Point of Sales, POS, is now limited to only N20,000 daily withdrawals.
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Though the new policy tends to reduce too much cash in circulation in order to curtail the current hyperinflation and to further encourage a cashless regime, experts believe the situation is like paying Peter to pay Paul as there is a more serious problem that will affect many Nigerians, even to the extent of creating a loss of jobs.
New CBN order unbelievable - expert
A Financial expert and manager of a microfinance bank, Josh Audu, said the CBN's latest order was hurriedly taken without due consideration of what the ordinary people and business communities will be going through.
According to him, the apex bank also failed to consider timing in their decision, considering that this is the Christmas season when people will need some cash for celebrations.
"It's unbelievable the new CBN order. This is completely anti-people and cannot address the current economic crisis. This order is more against the ordinary man who does not have an account but runs his businesses with POS and physical cash.
"For the market woman in Dutse market, this does not favour her. For the POS agent at Dawaki, you have killed his business, and for those in the villages who depend on POS to build their houses, you have frustrated them. This is very sad and will kill businesses."
CBN under emefiele gone bananas - Onwubiko
Also commenting on the development, the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, said the CBN has gone "bananas" under the current government and particularly as being run by Godwin Emefiele.
Onwubiko said the apex bank was clueless about the depreciating value of the Naira and has been unable to remit the over 550 million dollars belonging to foreign Airlines, forcing most of them to close offices in the country.
He recalled that most manufacturers and other business owners had dumped Nigeria for another country because they could not have access 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 against the dollar," he said.
The rights activist further called for the sack of the CBN boss, accusing him of not listening to professional advice.
He advised that the next CBN governor after Emefiele’s sack should follow the World Bank's advice which said that to achieve price stabilization of the naira, the local currency should be allowed to respond to real pressures and not be bottled up by the apex bank.
CBN sweeping away thousands of businesses - Chima
A public policy analyst, Chima Christian, while lamenting the new apex bank order, said many businesses and the youths they employed have been swept away by the current order on withdrawals.
"With one stroke of the pen, the Central Bank of Nigeria has, through its new tax regime on cash withdrawals, swept away thousands of POS businesses and the youths they employ.
"Nigeria appears to always be in a haste to multiply misery.
"Yet, Africa's morning will come," he told Legit.ng via WhatsApp.
POS agents lament
Meanwhile, some Point Of Sales (POS) agents in Abuja have also lamented the new CBN order, saying the limits put on daily withdrawals were capable of sending them out of business.
A POS agent in the Utako area of Abuja, identified only as Mary, lamented that with the new order, they would be closing their shops.
"For each 20k a customer withdraws from us, we charge between 200 and 150 Naira. So if you put the limit at 20k a day for our customers, how much do you think we will be making in a day or in a month? This is so sad.
"The government that is supposed to create jobs for us, is scattering what we are managing in the name of reviving an ailing economy. Won't sending us out of business have another effect on the economy?" She lamented.
Another agent at Nyanya, Abuja told Legit.ng that the order took them unawares.
According to the agent, Mr Matthew:
"While some depend entirely on this business and are planning their Christmas trip on the small profits, little did we know that man proposes, God disposes. We didn't know that the CBN was plotting against us. This is terrible.”
CBN to explain policy to senators
Meanwhile, the CBN will have the opportunity to explain to Nigerians why this policy is expedient at this point. This explanation will come during the screening of two deputy governor nominees of the bank on Friday, December 9.
The Senate President, while ruling on a motion by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Phillip Aduda, who raised concern about the newly announced CBN policy on withdrawal limit, said the Red Chamber would demand an explanation during their screening exercise.
It’s expected that the nominees will give satisfactory explanations on the matter, or else the executive and the legislative arms will engage in a fresh face-off.
No matter the situation, it’s clear that the common man remains at the receiving end.