After Naira Redesign Policy, CBN Introduces Another Move That May Prevent Vote Buying In 2023 , Sets New Withdrawal Limits

Few days to the introduction of a newly redesigned Naira notes, ln an apparent move to tackle vote buying as the 2023 general elections draw closer, and control the amount of cash in circulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday introduced new cash withdrawal limits for banks and other financial institutions.

The new policy followed its recent currency redesign project in which it had expressed concerns over the high volume of cash outside the banking system.

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Under the new dispensation, the central bank restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively.

This was just as President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday asked the Senate to confirm the appointments of two serving deputy governors, Mr. Edward Adamu and Mrs. Aisha Ndanusa Ahmad for second and final terms in office.

The directive on the new cash withdrawal limits was contained in the CBN letter dated December 6, 2022, which was addressed to all Deposit Money Banks, and Other Financial Institutions, Payment Service Bank (PSBs), Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs).

The correspondence was signed by CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Mr. Haruna Mustafa.

The CBN stated however, that withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of five per cent and 10 respectively for individuals and corporate entities going forward.

In addition, third party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10 million on clearing cheques still remains.

The new withdrawal regime further pegged the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated teller Machine (ATM) at N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

Also, only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into ATMs while the maximum amount that can be withdrawn via Point of Sale (POS) terminal was limited to N20,000 daily.

The central bank, however stated that in compelling circumstances not exceedingly once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits was required for legitimate purposes, such withdrawals shall not exceed N5 million and N10 million for individuals and corporate organisations respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees.

This, would be in addition to an enhanced due diligence and further information requirement, the apex bank stressed.

The CBN further noted that monthly reruns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision Department while compliance with extant Anti-Money Laundering/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting among others is required in all circumstances.

The bank also encouraged bank customers to use alternative channels including internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira among others to conduct their banking transactions

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