By James Emejo, This Day Newspaper
In compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) currency redesign and cash withdrawal policy that limited withdrawals across all channels to N500,000 weekly, banks have suspended further cash disbursement via customers’ Naira Credit and prepaid cards.
This Day Newspaper learnt that as a result, the banks have informed customers through text messages that these channels can no longer be used to access cash for the time being.
For instance, Stanbic IBTC in a message to one of its customers stated: “Following the naira redesign policy limiting local cash withdrawals across all channels to N500,000 weekly, please be informed that cash withdrawal on your naira credit and prepaid card will not be available for now.”
Following its currency redesign project, the CBN had announced an upward review of its cash withdrawal policy across all payment channels by individuals and corporate organizations.
Under the updated regime, the bank said effective January 9, 2023, individuals and corporate entities can withdraw a maximum of N500,000 and N5 million respectively compared to N100,000 and N500,000 which was previously announced on December 6, 2022.
However, the Central Bank, in an updated circular dated December 21, 2022, and addressed to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other Financial Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Mobile Money Operators, and Agents, explained that the upward review was, as a result of the feedback it received from stakeholders.
The correspondence was signed by CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Mr. Haruna Mustafa.
The CBN stated that in compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limit is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent for individuals and corporate organizations respectively.
The Central Bank, in yielding to public pressure on the review, noted that it recognises the role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and would ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society.
The apex bank had on December 6, introduced revised cash withdrawal limits in banks and other financial institutions following its recent currency redesign project.
The bank had restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organizations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively.
The CBN stated, however, that withdrawals above these thresholds will attract processing fees of 5 percent 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 remain.
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