BusinessDay

CBN may review cash withdrawals limits

…as banks dispense new naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may review its announced cash withdrawal limits, by tweaking it upward or downward, Godwin Emefiele, governor, said on Thursday in Daura, Kasina State.

Emefiele, who visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura to brief him on recent issues in the economy, however, insisted that the CBN would not cancel or change the timing of the policy.

“This is not targeted at anybody. It is just meant for the good and the development of the Nigerian economy. We can only continue to appeal to Nigerians to please see this policy the way we have presented it.

“We will review from time to time. I cannot say that we are going to be rigid, but it is not to say that we will reverse it, it is not to say we will change the timing; but whether it is about tweaking some amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, we will do so because we are humans. We want to make life good for our people, we do not want to make life difficult for them. So, there is no need for anybody to worry,” he said.

Read also: Naira depreciates across foreign exchange markets on dollar demand

On the new naira notes, he said banks have received them and have begun distributing them to the members of the public.

“As of yesterday (Wednesday) the banks have received the new cash and have started dispensing them”, he said.

Responding to the amount of deposit so far returned into the banking system since the directive was issued, he said, “the central bank has taken close to half a trillion. And with the banks, we also have close to about half a trillion. So, what we did at the central bank was to move more people from different departments into currency processing so that they can process this cash as quickly as possible.”

Reacting to concerns raised about the impact of cash withdrawal limits on the people in the rural areas, he said, there are 1.4 million super agents that are all over the country, local governments or villages.

“I have told my colleagues that I’m sure some of their names are already on the website. I will publish the names of all the super agents, which are different from the banks, microfinance banks, different from other financial institutions, having 1.4 million banking points where people can conduct banking services”, Emefiele said.

He noted that the CBN introduced the cashless policy in 2012 and had stepped it down because it wanted to deepen the payment system infrastructure.

“We believe that a lot of electronic channels have been put in place that would aid people in conducting banking and financial services transactions in Nigeria.”

On Buhari’s response, he said “the president was very happy; he said we should carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to bother about the body.”