2023: Politicians Begin Moves to Bypass CBN's Cash Withdrawal Limit

2023: Politicians Begin Moves to Bypass CBN's Cash Withdrawal Limit

  • The CBN had on December 6, under the new withdrawal policy, restricted maximum cash withdrawals over the counter
  • The move is said to have caught politicians in the country unaware as the 2023 general elections is just a few weeks away
  • A new report, however, indicates that there are plans by political actors to find a way round the new policy

FCT, Abuja - A report by Daily Trust newspaper indicates that top politicians and candidates vying for elective positions have commenced plans on how to bypass the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on cash withdrawal in funding their campaign activities.

During elections, parties and candidates vying for elective positions through their agents disburse funds in cash to woo voters ahead of the election.

Emefiele
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele has repeatedly said there is no going back on the policy. Photo credit: @cenbank
Source: Twitter

The introduction of the policy, analysts said, would go a long way in addressing vote buying.

Presidential candidates to spend N1.8billion on party agents

There are 176,974 polling units across the country. Each of the presidential candidates requires 176,974 agents to man the polling units.

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A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said for the agents alone, N2billion was required to pay their allowances on Election Day.

He said:

“The least you can give to each of the agents is N10,000 on election day and it has to be in cash because it is for logistics. They are paid through coordinators. If you calculate it, you will have about N1.8billion.”

Parties, candidates strategise to bypass CBN new cash rules

To bypass the policy, top politicians are said to be making contingency plans on how to paddle through the scheme.

Chieftains in Nasarawa state are reported to be compiling the account details of would-be agents for the 2023 elections.

A local politician in the state shares his experience saying:

“I am a loyal APC member and I have been serving as an agent for APC in the past two elections. Our party chieftains in the local government have taken our names and account details for the 2023 election agent mobilisation.
“This is not illegal. Agents get lunch and logistics money from the party during elections, and this is not only restricted to APC, all parties do this. Yes, this is the first time that they are requesting our account details.”

Aminu Baba, the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial campaign council in Kano, said even aside from politics, the policy was not a good one and it will affect the campaign trail as much as it affects ordinary Nigerians.

His words:

“We are flagging off our campaign this weekend and we plan to mobilise at least 100 vehicles, now imagine if this is happening with the withdrawal limit.
“Even by the time the policy kicks off, we will be mobilising a minimum of 20 vehicles for every campaign stop and we need to fuel these vehicles at fuel stations, many of which do not have POS or receive a transfer, how do we take care of this?”

However, the DG of the New Nigeria Peoples Party campaign management directorate in Kano, Ali Makoda, said the party is happy with the policy, adding that those that are familiar with the Kwankwasiyya Movement know that"

“We don’t give (money) and we don’t spend (money) on mobilisation for our events.”

It will affect our campaigns, says Labour Party

On its part, the Labour Party has said the policy would affect its campaigns negatively.

The chief spokesperson of the Obi/Datti presidential campaign council and former chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, called on the CBN to revisit the policy.

He said:

“It will affect our physical exchange of cash. We don’t even have the fund, but it will affect us. But those who have stashed this country’s money into their private wallet are the ones who will feel the pain the more.”

If CBN wants to go cashless, it should make transfers free

Meanwhile, Adedeji Olowe, a financial expert and a Trustee of Open Banking Nigeria, has stated that if the CBN wants to go cashless, bank transfers must be free.

He wrote on Tech Point Africa:

“Time is expensive for the executives, so paying ₦‎50 for the transfer is nothing to them. But for the poor, every kobo counts. They cannot understand why they must pay ₦‎50 for a transfer when they can walk to the market and use cash without spending extra.”

2023: Malala Fund, CSOs launch manifesto to set education agenda for political parties

Meanwhile, over 80 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria led by Malala Fund have launched a manifesto to set education agenda for political parties and their presidential candidates ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The manifesto was launched at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja attended by a Legit.ng reporter.

Addressing journalists at the launch of the manifesto, Malala Fund Country Lead, Fatima Askira, said that the purpose is to ensure political candidates commit to prioritising education in Nigeria.

2023: Albino Foundation tasks political parties on inclusive campaigns

In a related development, The Albino Foundation has advised candidates and political parties in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to ensure an inclusive campaign in all their programmes.

Founder of the foundation, Ambassador Jake Epelle warned the parties not to take the votes of the Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country for granted, adding that the disability community has the numbers to change the outcome of the elections at different levels.

He also said that campaign materials should be produced in accessible formats to reach different clusters of PWDs; the visually impaired and persons with albinism among others.

Source: Legit.ng

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