CBN reverses cash withdrawal limits but continues its push for a cashless economy

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December 21, 2022
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2 mins read
CBN building. Image credit: Businesstimes.ng

The news

  • The CBN has revised its weekly cash withdrawal limits to ₦‎500,000 ($1,119) for individuals and ₦‎5,000,000 ($11,194) for businesses. 
  • On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the bank stated that from Monday, January 9, 2023, weekly cash withdrawal limits will be reduced to ₦‎100,000 ($223) for individuals and ₦‎500,000 ($1,119) for businesses.
  • Processing fees for withdrawals above the stated limits have also been reduced to 3% for individuals and 5% for businesses. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has today, Wednesday, December 21, 2022, reversed its decision on cash withdrawal limits for individuals and businesses in the country. In a letter signed by the bank’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna B. Mustafa, the upper limit for cash withdrawals has been revised to ₦‎500,000 ($1,119) for individuals and ₦‎5,000,000 ($11,194) for businesses. 

Recall that the apex bank had, on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, directed all banks to suspend weekly cash withdrawals above ₦‎100,000 ($223) for individuals and ₦‎500,000 ($1,119) for businesses from Monday, January 9, 2022. It also stated that individuals and businesses requiring more than these amounts could access it following the payment of a 5% processing fee. 

With more than 90% of transactions in the country still conducted using cash and less than 60 million unique bank accounts, the policy drew the ire of the public, with many pointing out that such a policy would hurt the millions of Nigerians who depend on cash to run their businesses.

Two weeks after that decision, it appears the CBN has paid attention, with the upper withdrawal limits not the only things revised. Processing fees for individuals and businesses withdrawing more than the stipulated amounts have been reduced to 3% and 5% for individuals and businesses, respectively. Previously, the processing fees were set at 5% and 10% for individuals and businesses, respectively. 

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Third-party cheques have also been upgraded to ₦100,000 ($223), up from ₦50,000 ($111) in the last policy memo. While no change was made to the date when these rules take effect, the CBN noted the role that cash plays in Nigeria’s economy in its closing statement while reiterating its commitment to moving the country towards a cashless future.

Accidental writer, covering Africa's startup landscape and its heroes. Find me on Twitter @chigo_nwokoma.
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