The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions disclosed on Friday that it has collected the required information on the merits of the cash withdrawal limits being introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for onward submission to the Senate.
The upper legislative chamber had on Wednesday mandated the committee to find out from the apex bank the compelling reasons for the introduction of the policy which limits an individual to N100,000 per week and a corporate organisation to N500,000 per week.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Uba Sani, after a confirmatory hearing with some re-appointed Deputy governors of the apex bank, said:
“With the presentation made by the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Aisha Ndanusa Ahmad on the planned limited cash withdrawal, the 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 further questioning. And again as unanimously agreed by members of the Committee, they should therefore take a bow and go.”
When asked to provide an explanation of the policy, the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Mrs Aishat Ahmad, said the policy 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 made the disclosure during the screening exercise carried out on her and her counterparts on Corporate Services, Edward Lametek Adamu, for re-appointments.
She said the cashless policy being fully implemented by CBN now is not newly adding that required steps in that direction, it was taken in 2012 with Lagos State as a pilot scheme and Abuja and Six other states in 2013.
She explained that though CBN has not carried out full implementation of the policy since then, its introduction then has brought a lot of transformation in the banking and payment system.
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Ahmad continued: “Distinguished Chairman of this committee and members, I’m happy for the opportunity given to make presentations on the planned N100,000 withdrawal limit for individuals and N500, 000 for Corporate Bodies per week, beginning from 9th January 2023, in line with the cashless policy introduced in 2012.
“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy with a proposed limit on cash withdrawals per week is now.
According to her, “Required infrastructure for its implementation in terms of financial access point system, mobile money, e-naira etc, 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 a 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 has now expanded into multiple electronic platforms as well as a geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4million “, she said.
She however said that the Apex bank is flexible and will be ready to accommodate opinions that won’t make the policy strenuous to any category of Nigerians during implementation.