NIGERIA Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has said the N100,000 cash withdrawal limit announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will cripple businesses.
The CBN had on Tuesday, December 6, issued a memo directing all banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000 respectively, per week.
“Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively”, the apex bank added.
Reacting to the policy, Director-General of NECA, Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement released on Wednesday, December 7, said the CBN did not consider the adverse effects the withdrawal limit will have on the economic activities of Nigerians.
The statement noted that the 5 and 10 per cent processing fees for withdrawals above the new thresholds were “traps” to make money at the expense “of individuals and businesses who desire to withdraw their hard-earned money”.
“As usual with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank announced a new naira withdrawal policy without extensive consultation with organised businesses and those that will be directly impacted by the policy. This new policy is diversionary and a mere distraction from the critical issues that are affecting the Nation.
“With the inflation rate hovering around 20 per cent and over 100 million Nigerians in multidimensional poverty, the best that Government should do is not further cripple the economic activities of Nigerians. It is no gainsaying that the livelihood of many individuals and enterprise would be impacted,” the statement added.
Noting that NECA supports the CBN’s cashless policy and the plan to get all “bankable individuals and businesses into the banking system”, the statement said the timing was wrong due to inadequate preparation and sensitisation of the people that drive the economy.
“It is also important to note that the banking infrastructure and mobile/digital facility to drive the cashless policy are not sufficiently developed. This is not only draconian but also inhuman.”
NECA instead urged the CBN and the Federal Government to replicate the energy and promptness used in implementing the policy to address the dwindling value of the Naira, rising inflation, oil theft, ballooning foreign and get millions out of poverty.
“While Nigerians and businesses are groaning under the burden created by not-well-thought-out government policies, more misery should not be placed on them as we approach the Yuletide season”, the statement observed.