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HURIWA: New CBN withdrawal limits policy can’t work

...only the N200 denomination, and lower, will be loaded into the ATMs.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele. [guardian]

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Wednesday, December 07, 2022, criticised the Central Bank of Nigeria over its weekly cash withdrawal limits, saying the measure cannot help the worsening depreciation of the naira.

What HURIWA thinks of Emefiele: HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele is chasing shadows having crippled Nigeria’s economy with poor fiscal policies in his about 10-year regime at the apex bank.

What the group said: The group said rather than coming up with experimental and needless policies like the redesigning of the naira, cash withdrawal limits, amongst others, the apex bank and the Federal Government should cut down foreign loans and reduce Nigeria’s worsening external debt burden which has been said by experts to be the dominant cause of naira depreciation against the United States dollar.

HURIWA further said the daily maximum withdrawals via point of sale (PoS) terminal of N20,000 will force thousands of Nigerians who are PoS operators out of jobs, when the policy takes effect nationwide from January 9, 2023.

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The group faulted the policy as bad for a country with 21.09% inflation rate, 133 million people in multidimensional poverty, and unemployment rate of over 33% meaning over 23 million employable Nigerians are jobless.

What happened: The CBN on Tuesday, December 06, 2022, directed Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions to ensure that weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively. The apex bank also pegged the maximum cash withdrawal per day via PoS terminals and Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) at N20,000, saying that only the N200 denomination will be loaded into the ATMs.

The CBN noted that the new policy is sequel to the launch of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23, 2022.

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