The Nigerian Senate has deliberated on the cash withdrawal limit policy announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), offering three recommendations to the financial regulator.
It had previously reported that the Senate would meet on Wednesday to debate the report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions on the cash withdrawal policy.
The committee, led by Senator Uba Sani, had questioned two deputy governors of the CBN last week Thursday and was expected to submit the findings on Tuesday. However, the absence of Sani forced a postponement to December 14.
During the plenary on Wednesday, various Senators took turns to bear their minds on the new CBN policy and its impact on the people, especially in rural areas.
Recall that the CBN had directed banks to limit cash withdrawals to N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for businesses over the counter. Also, the maximum daily withdrawal from the point of Sale (PoS) and Auto Teller Machine (ATM) was put at N20,000.
Senators against CBN’s cash withdrawal policy
Addressing the policy, Senator Surajudeen Basiru and Senator Orji Kalu agreed that the threshold was unrealistic and the amount should be increased to N500,000 for individuals.
“The threshold that had been set is unrealistic to have any robust and meaningful life for our people.” Senator Basiru said, adding that “As a Committee of the Senate, we ought to have been alerted with certain indices to come up with recommendations on what should be the adjustment. I am suggesting that the threshold should be N500,000 for individuals per week.”
Senator Kalu also told his colleagues during the debate that to support CBN’s Policy, the apex bank “should reconsider their decision and do N500,000 per day for individuals and N3,000,000 per day for Corporate. That will cover the fear of anybody.”
Majority of the Senators who spoke in the upper chamber were against the threshold and timing, with Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa stating that if the CBN policy is allowed to continue, “it will not be good for the country,” as “There are local people that are dependent on daily market as their means of survival and the farmers in my Constituency who engage on their farms need a lot of money and all of them are paid on daily basis,” Bulkachuwa said.