The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.
The directive is contained in a circular issued by the bank on Wednesday and signed by the bank’s Director of Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa.
The development comes two weeks after the CBN reduced the weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawal limit for individuals to N100,000 and that of corporate organisations to N500,000.
The bank also reduced withdrawals at automated teller machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale terminals to N20,000 per day.
The policy had generated mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some said it would have a negative effect on small businesses, others applauded it as a strategic move towards boosting the cashless policy and reducing the amount of cash outside the banking system.
In the circular, the apex bank said it made the upward review based on feedback received from stakeholders.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hereby makes the following reviews: (1) the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000.00 and N5,000,000.00 respectively.
“2. In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in (1) is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively.
“Further to (2) above, the financial institution shall obtain the following information from the customer, at the minimum, and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose: valid means of identification of the payee (national ID, international passport, or driver’s license), bank verification number (BVN) of the payee, tax identification number (TIN) of both the payee and the payer, and an approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal.
“Third party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over-the-counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsist”.
The CBN said monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the banking supervision department, other financial institutions supervision and payments system management departments.
“Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc. is required in all circumstances.
“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.
The apex bank said it recognises the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and would ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society.
“All banks and OFls are to note that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.
“The above directives supersede that of December 6, 2022 and take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023”, CBN noted.