The Senate has told the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the cash withdrawal threshold it announced last week, as the instructed limit will affect Nigerians.
According to some members of the upper chamber, Senator Surajudeen Basiru and Senator Orji Kalu, the limit for individuals should be raised to N500,000 and businesses should be limited to N3 million.
Prime Business Africa had reported that starting from January 9, 2023, cash withdrawal limit over the counter has been reduced to N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporate entities.
The central bank had directed banks to effect the withdrawal limit in order to reduce the currency in circulation and outside the banking system, which is over N3 trillion, and also phase out the old naira notes for the redesigned currency.
On Wednesday, during the plenary session, Senator Basiru said the announced threshold is unrealistic, stating, “As a Committee of the Senate, we ought to have been alerted with certain indices to come up with recommendations on what should be the adjustment. I am suggesting that the threshold should be N500,000 for individuals per week.”
Also, Senator Kalu said the CBN should raise the limit to “N500,000 per day for individuals and N3,000,000 per day for Corporate. That will cover the fear of anybody.”
Speaking on the threshold, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa said the informal market and farmers need more than the limit stipulated by the central bank to run their businesses.
Explaining the situation, Bulkachuwa said, “There are local people that are dependent on daily market as their means of survival and the farmers in my Constituency who engage on their farms need a lot of money and all of them are paid on daily basis.”
Meanwhile, at the end of the session, the Senate recommended that the threshold should be raised beyond the N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for companies, “the Central Bank of Nigeria should considerably adjust the withdrawal limits in response to public outcry on the policy.”
The recommendation was made following the submission of report by the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, which quizzed two deputy governors of the CBN over the cash withdrawal policy.