Nigeria raises weekly cash withdrawal limits after outcry


Nigeria’s central bank has announced substantial increases in limits on weekly cash withdrawals following pressure from the public.

The decision late Wednesday came two weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposed restrictions on weekly cash withdrawals to limit the use of cash in the economy.

The CBN has previously expressed concerns over currency counterfeiting, the volume of money outside the banking system and huge ransom payments to kidnappers and bandits.

“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 ($1,100) and N5,000,000, respectively,” the CBN said in a statement.

“The CBN recognises the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and will ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society,” the bank added.


Weekly cash withdrawals

On December 6, the central bank had slashed weekly cash withdrawals for individuals to 100,000 naira from 2.5 million a day previously.

For businesses, the weekly limit was cut to 500,000 naira from a daily limit of 3 million naira.

That decision sparked anger and condemnation from Nigerians who rely on cash for business. 

Many people in the informal sector do not have bank accounts and they believe the cash limits would hurt their businesses.

Nigeria has also launched new banknotes of 200, 500 and 1,000 naira.

Although the new notes came into use on December 15, Nigerians have until January 31 to turn in old notes when they cease to be legal tender.

Source:  The East African

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