Ahead of the release of the newly redesigned Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made good its warning that it will greatly restrict the use of cash in the Nigerian economy going forward as it placed a N20,000 daily withdrawal limit on individual accounts and N50,000 limit on over the counter third party cheques.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had prior to announcing the redesigning of the naira mentioned plans to ensure that the Nigeran economy goes 100 per cent cashless.
In canvassing for the redesigning of the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, he had also mentioned that the higher denominated notes will be used as only a store of value as only more of the lower notes will be in circulation.
True to this, the apex bank in a circular dated December 6, 2022 and signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, stated that effective January 9, 2023, only N200 notes and below will be loaded by banks into their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
According to the circular, which was issued to all deposit money banks, payment service banks, microfinance banks and primary mortgage banks in the country, individuals and corporate organisations withdrawal limits are not to exceed N100,000 and N500,000 per week.
Withdrawals above these limits, the circular stated, will attract processing fees of five per cent for individuals and 10 per cent for corporate organizations.
“Third party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist,” it said.
The circular also stated that the maximum cash withdrawal per week via ATM shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day as “only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.
likewise, the maximum cash withdrawal via point of sale (PoS) terminal was fixed at N20,000 daily.
“In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000.00 and N10,000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements.”
To be eligible for the special withdrawals above the stipulated limit, the CBN said individuals and corporate organizations will have to upload on a CBN portal created for the purpose valid means of identification of the payee such as National ID, International Passport, Driver’s License, Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee.
Also, to be made available to the CBN will be the notarised customer declaration of the purpose for the cash withdrawal, senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable and approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the bank authorizing the withdrawal.
The CBN also directed that banks provide “monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision Department, compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc. is required in all circumstances, customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions” adding that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.
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