In response to the public outcry against the new policy, the Senate has requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) significantly adjust its recently announced cash withdrawal limits.
In its resolution, the upper chamber also urged its Committee on Banking and Finance to aggressively monitor the apex bank’s implementation of the policy and submit regular reports to the Senate.
The lawmakers present for Wednesday’s plenary session engaged in a lengthy debate before reaching the Senate’s resolution.
The withdrawal threshold established by the CBN, according to some lawmakers, is excessive given the nation’s economic circumstances.
A few lawmakers criticized the CBN for not holding extensive consultations on the policy prior to its announcement, while others claim that the policy will drive out Point of Sale (PoS) operators.
Additionally, some lawmakers claimed that the policy would have a negative impact on Nigerians who work in the unorganized sector, are not bank customers, and live in rural areas.
The Senate tabled discussion on the matter on Tuesday. But only a small number of lawmakers showed up for Wednesday’s plenary session. On a day when lawmakers were supposed to debate the new CBN cash withdrawal policy, the plenary session began later than usual.
The maximum daily withdrawals from ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals were set at N20,000 by the CBN last week.
According to the CBN, the new policy follows the November 23, 2022, introduction of President Muhammadu Buhari’s redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
It instructed banks to make sure that weekly over-the-counter (OTC) cash withdrawals from corporate entities and individuals did not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.