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Senate President Of Nigeria Pleads On CBN To Increase Cash Withdrawal Limits

The Senate on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the cash withdrawal limits.In its new monetary policy, the apex bank recently restricted the maximum cash withdrawal by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. Mr.Kalu suggested that a sum of N500,000 should be the daily cash withdrawal limit for individuals and 3M for corporate bodies.

The policy which is billed to take effect on Monday, January 9, 2023, triggered a public outcry as the National Assembly invited the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele to their chambers to explain the policy. After the meeting was held, the lawmakers asked the bank to adjust the withdrawal limits earlier announced in its policy, and the Senate directed the committee to embark on aggressive oversight of the CBN on its commitment to flexible adjustment of the withdrawal limit and periodically report outcomes to the chamber.

Meanwhile, during the debate, the lawmakers expressed divergent views on the CBN policy. Many of them argued that the policy would affect the rural economy, adding that forcing it on the citizens would create a currency black market.

One of the lawmakers that opposed the policy, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun) described it as unrealistic, given the current average cost of living. However, Senator Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna), who chairs the Committee on Banking, said the cashless policy was in line with the CBN Act.

He added that the withdrawal limits policy was intended to foster a safe, credible and efficient payment system. “It’s neither targeted at any segment of the society nor intended to disenfranchise hardworking Nigerians and businesses as insinuated in some quarters,” he said.On his part, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia) called for an upward review of the withdrawal limits. He  suggested that N500,000 should be the daily cash withdrawal limit for individuals and N3m for corporate bodies.

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