By Kingsley Okoye, Abuja.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday made some clarification before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions regarding the need for the cashless policy, limiting cash withdrawal for individuals to N100,000 and corporate bodies to N500,000 per week.
The policy, as explained by Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Mrs Aishat Ahmad, was introduced in 2012 during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and extended to Abuja and six other states in 2013.
The CBN deputy governor spoke during her screening and that of her counterparts in charge of Corporate Services, Edward Lametek Adamu, for re-appointment as deputy governors.
Ahmad said that cashless policy, as fully implemented by CBN now, was not new, as initial required steps were taken in 2012, with Lagos State as pilot scheme and Abuja and six other states in 2013.
She said that although full implementation of the policy had not been carried out by CBN since then, the introduction of the policy then had brought a lot of transformation to the banking and payment system .
“Distinguished Chairman of this committee and members, I’m happy for the opportunity given to make presentations on planned N100,000 withdrawal limit for individuals and N500,000 for corporate bodies per week, beginning from Jan. 9, 2023, in line with cashless policy that was introduced in 2012.
“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy, with proposed limits on cash withdrawals per week, is now .
“Required infrastructure for its implementation, in terms of financial access point system, mobile money, e-Naira e.t.c. are available across the 774 local government councils in the country.
“All fears and worries, being expressed by Nigerians on the planned limited cash withdrawal policy, are seriously being taken care of, as nobody or section of Nigerians will be left out.
“In the past, banking transactions in Nigeria were limited to bank branches alone as the only means, which had now expanded into multiple electronic platforms as well as geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4 million,” she said.
Ahmad, however, said that the CBN was flexible and would be ready to accommodate opinions that would ot make the policy challenging to any category of Nigerians during implementation.
After her presentation, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Uba Sani (APC-Kaduna) asked the two nominees to take a bow and go, in line with the motion moved by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu (APC-Abia) and seconded by Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe).
Uba said: “With presentation made by the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Aisha Ndanusa Ahmad, on the planned limited cash withdrawal, required information on the merits of the policy has been given and will be communicated to the Senate in plenary through our report.
“The two deputy governors, having earlier been screened before serving their first tenures, need not to be screened again, as unanimously agreed by members of the committee,” he said.