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  The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced new limits on cash withdrawals over-the-counter, as well as for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (PoS). This was disclosed by the CBN in a circular made public on Tuesday.
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The statement, signed by Haruna Mustapha, the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, stipulated that over-the-counter (OTC) cash withdrawals by individuals and businesses should not exceed ₦100,000 and ₦500,000 respectively per week. According to the new rule, withdrawals which surpass these limits will attract charges of 5% and 10% respectively. Upper limits have also been fixed for withdrawals from ATMs. Individuals will now only be able to withdraw ₦100,000 at most per week. They will not be allowed to take out more than ₦20,000 per day from this source. Meanwhile, ATMs will be loaded with denominations not higher than ₦200. In addition, the maximum amount payable to individuals via Point of Sale (PoS) terminals per day will be ₦20,000.
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Third-party cheques in excess of ₦50,000 will no longer be paid over the counter. However, the existing limit of ₦10 million on clearing cheques remains in place. The statement from Mr Mustapha did indicate that cash withdrawals higher than the amounts noted above could be allowed “in compelling circumstances.” In such situations, withdrawals would not exceed ₦5 million and ₦10 million respectively. An allowance will only be made for this once a month at most. The CBN also said that banks which grant demands for cash above the stipulated limits in exceptional cases should upload valid IDs, Bank Verification Numbers, and other crucial details pertaining to the parties involved in the transaction. Mr Mustapha further encouraged bank customers to carry out their banking transactions using alternative channels, such as USSD, mobile banking apps, and the eNaira. The new rules are scheduled to take effect from Monday, January 9, 2023.
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The CBN’s policy is coming on the heels of its redesign of the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes, which it announced late in October. The apex bank has also said that it would track the flow of cash as the old bank notes are replaced with new ones. Some financial analysts have suggested that the new limits on cash withdrawals are aimed at checkmating the flow of cash that has been illegally obtained or dispensed. According to these analysts, the new rules could make it easier for regulators to spot these movements, identify the actors involved, and take punitive action against them in collaboration with anti-corruption watchdogs. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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This article was first published on 8th December 2022

ikenna-nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.


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