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CBN Governor Bows to Pressure to Raise Cash Withdrawal Limits -->

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CBN Governor Bows to Pressure to Raise Cash Withdrawal Limits

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has bowed to pressure from Nigerian politicians to abandon the apex bank's new withdrawal limit policy and has since announced an increase from N100,000 to N500,000 weekly for individual accounts and from N500,000 to N5 million weekly for corporate accounts. These changes cut across all channels, including over-the-counter [OTP], automated teller machines (ATMs), and point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, and are effective January 9, 2023.

New CBN withdral limits

Extracts from the circular issued on Wednesday, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, read as follows:

The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000.00 and N5,000,000.00, respectively,

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He insisted, however, that the maximum daily withdrawal limit from ATMs and PoS terminals would remain at N20,000 and that only N200 denominations or lower would be loaded into ATMs across the country. Details of the communication are contained in the circular below.

CBN circular on cash withdrawal policy
CBN circular on cash withdrawal limits


According to the CBN, the new withdrawal limit, implemented only two weeks ago, was an attempt to introduce the globally accepted cashless economy into the Nigerian economy, but the policy directive sparked controversy and outrage from politicians who have since then fought to see that the policy is not implemented, as well as disapproval from the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, Aishah Ahmad, a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while being questioned by members of the House of Representatives during the plenary session on Thursday, December 22, 2022, says she does not know how much of the new Naira notes were printed.  Aishah who said she was choosing her words carefully so as not to give out the wrong figures, however, told the house that the apex bank has ordered 500 million new Naira notes and that it would be printed soon.  Ahmad also insisted that the newly introduced withdrawal limit was not done for political reasons but purely on its merit.

CBN ordered the new Naira: from who if I may ask? That suggests that Nigeria in 2022 still depends on a third party to print even the low-quality Naira banknotes. The newly redesigned Naira which started circulation on December 15, 2022, is yet to be since by many bank customers as the banks are still giving out the old banknotes instead of retrieving them.  

Conclusively, for us at Noble Solutions, the last is yet to be seen and heard about the Naira redesign. However, these are our takeaways from CBN today

  • A deputy governor of the central bank of Nigeria [CBN] does not know how much of the new Naira was printed.  That left us wondering who is actually calling the shots in this whole Naira recolouring saga.
  • Nigeria does not print her currency
  • The January 31, 2023 deadline may not be visible if the CBN is unable to circulate the new Naira banknotes as it looks. Left for me both the old and the new should circulate side by side.

Do you have the new Naira notes yet? How does it make you feel? What is your take on this new CBN move to increase the withdrawal limit even before the policy took effect? Share your opinion in the comment box below.

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