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3 Careers or Businesses At Risk Of Extinction as CBN Limits Cash Withdrawal -->

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3 Careers or Businesses At Risk Of Extinction as CBN Limits Cash Withdrawal

In a circular on Tuesday, December 6, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) and other financial institutions to limit daily cash withdrawals to N20,000 and N200,000 weekly for individual accounts and N50,000 daily and N500,000 for corporate accounts. This is ahead of the release of the newly redesigned Naira notes and the CBN policy to restrict cash circulation in Nigeria and move the economy towards a cashless economy. No matter how excellent or awful a policy is, it will inevitably have benefits and drawbacks, and the CBN's implementation of the cashless policy in the Nigerian economy is no exception. We think it will help the economy in the long run, but whose businesses and careers will suffer the most from the negative effects of the policy in the short term? In this blog article, we'll take an x-ray of it.

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 According to the circular, the apex bank said the regulatory directives will take effect nationwide on January 9, 2023, and withdrawals above the limits will attract processing fees of 5% and 10% on individual and corporate accounts, respectively.

 Haruna Mustafa, CBN’s director of banking supervision, went on to state

Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist, 

The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day, adding that only denominations of N200 and below should be loaded into the ATM machine

In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits are required for legitimate purposes. such cash withdrawals shall not exceed ₦5.000.000 00 and ₦10.000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organizations respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees.

Who Will Be Worst Hit?

The million-dollar question will be: who will be the biggest loser in all of these? Over 64 million out of the 200 million population of Nigeria are still unbanked, according to the World Bank's financial inclusion report. The worst hit are definitely not the poverty-stricken Nigerians, many of whom don't even have N20,000 to spend in a month. According to the National Bureau of Statistics' (NBS) recently released Nigeria Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) data, 133 million Nigerians, or 63 percent of the population, live in poverty. You worry about withdrawal limits if you have a lot of money stacked in the banks and from all indications, that is not the case for most Nigerians.

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Another issue with the CBN policy on a cashless economy is the educational/literacy level of Nigerian people as data from the Ministry of Education revealed that, as of September 2021, over 76 million adult Nigerians out of the estimated 200 million population, or over 38%  are non-literate. So will the people be on the wrong side of this cashless policy? No! Not at all. The worst affected in all of this is most emphatically not the ordinary Nigerian, as some advocates of the status quo claim. 

The 3 Careers/Businesses At Risk Of Extinction  

From all indications, the following business and career paths will be mostly affected because of their involvement in cash transactions:

1. The Point of Sale (POS) operators: The POS businesses make money according to transaction volume, mainly cash withdrawals. With the Central Bank pegging daily maximum withdrawals via PoS terminal at N20,000, you will agree that the CBN has technically killed that business. So if you are planning to start the business, it will only be wise that you reappraise the situation and do your due diligence. If you are already in the business, it is time to set your diversification strategy in motion as we monitor the situation.

2. The Cashiers: Less cash transactions and more online stores equal less need for the services of cashiers. As a matter of fact, self-checkout is gaining more and more popularity in shopping malls around the world, and if it has not reached one near you, it will sooner rather than later.

3. Bank Tellers and Bank Branches: You may recall spending an entire day in the bank just to perform a simple transaction due to the crowds and slow network, but that has drastically decreased since the introduction of ATMs and the proliferation of POS service points. The advancement in technology has made banking more flexible, as people can now do various bank transactions on their mobile phones with the bank's mobile app and USSD codes. The new introduction of a fully cashless economy will no doubt be beneficial to the Nigerian economy but will hurt bank tellers as it will lead to further job losses for the profession. It is only plausible that a decreasing need for people to physically visit the bank branch to carry out a transaction will only lead to a decrease in demand for the services of bank tellers as well as bank branches.


The essence of this post is for you to prepare and not be taken unaware, and for you to plan your career or business in line with present realities. In a subsequent tutorial, we will be discussing some other jobs that are going extinct that many people do not know about. By and large, the policy is a good one and will improve our economy in the long run if it is holistically implemented. In the USA, the withdrawal limit is $1000, so N20,000 is not bad. But there will be no more hiding places for Nigerians who have been avoiding or invading tax payments. So start to wake up to the reality of regular tax payment because that is one way the government will benefit from the cashless policy, as every Nigerian will now be properly captured in the financial system.

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Now it is your turn. What do you think about the withdrawal limits and cashless policy of the CBN? Let us know in the comment section. 


How much can an individual withdraw per day?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) and other financial institutions to limit daily cash withdrawals to N20, 000 and N200, 000 weekly for individual accounts and N50,000 daily and N500,000 for corporate accounts.

What informed the new cashless policy of the CBN?

They include 1. The Nigerian economy is too heavily cash-oriented in transactions of goods and services. This is not in line with the global trend, considering Nigeria’s ambition to be among the top 20 economies of the world 2. It is estimated that about 65% of the cash in circulation in the Nigerian economy is outside of the banking system, thus severely limiting the impact of the CBN’s efforts at price and economic stabilization. 3. Also, the huge volumes of cash transactions impose tremendous costs on the banking sector and, consequently, the customer, in terms of cash management, frequent printing of currency notes, currency sorting and cash movements. 4. As the volume of cash in circulation (CIC) grows, so does the cost of cash management to the financial system which is estimated to reach N192 billion in 2012. 5. There is also the risks involved in keeping or moving large amounts of cash, namely the high incidences of robberies and burglaries and the public’s propensity to abuse and mishandle currency notes

What does the CBN want to achieve with the policy?

The CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, aims to achieve an environment where a higher and increasing proportion of transactions are carried out by electronic payment means in line with the global trend as the new cash withdrawal policy will ensure that a larger proportion of currency in circulation is captured within the banking system, thereby enhancing the efficacy of monetary policy operations and fighting inflation.

How would the policy help to check the high rate of organized crimes, such as armed robbery, kidnapping and money laundering?

It is a well-known fact that the criminal underworld usually requires huge volumes of cash to carry out their nefarious operations in order to avoid being traced or tracked. Therefore, limiting the amount of cash flowing in the system will curtail such activities as armed robbery, kidnapping, drug and gun running and money laundering. In an environment of the extensive and predominant use of cheques and e-payments, criminal transactions can be easily traceable and tracked.

Is the 5% penalty for exceeding the withdrawal limit enough to discourage high-net-worth individuals like politicians?

The 5% is a transaction cost, and not meant to be punitive. It is simply a motivational factor aimed at driving the business of banking towards more efficient and cost-effective operations. The objective is to enable Nigerians to see the policy as serving the interests of all concerned. The huge amount of money spent on the frequent printing of currency notes and managing physical cash could be deployed in solving other pressing needs of the public. CBN’s director of banking supervision made it clear that high volume withdrawals will not exceed once a month and not exceed ₦5.000.000 00 and ₦10.000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organizations respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees.

How will the policy affect the common man on the street, especially the PoS operators?

In every human endeavour, attitudinal change often comes with some challenges, but that does not mean change is impossible, especially if it is for the good of all. There is no doubt that the policy will lead to a win-win situation for all. It will also enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy measures to curb inflation and stabilize the economy and reduce the high cost of living, it is in the interest of all, leading to economic growth and development that ultimately creates jobs and improve economic well-being.

When will the new withdrawal limit take effect?

The policy on over-the-counter (OTP) withdrawals will take effect from the 9th of January 2023, according to CBN.

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