Governors invite Emefiele over naira redesign, cash withdrawal limit policies

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has issued an invitation to Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, for a virtual meeting on the recent naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policies.

 

Asishana Okauru, director-general of NGF, said the meeting is scheduled to hold on Thursday, January 19, 2022, at 9 pm.

 

The theme, ‘the economic and security implications of naira redesign and withdrawal policy’, will drive discussions at the virtual meeting.

 

Okauru said the invitation to the CBN governor was issued by Aminu Tambuwal, chairman of the forum and governor of Sokoto.

 

He said the meeting would foster participation and dialogue between various stakeholders, including governments and civil society organisations, and enable them to proffer solutions to the lingering issues regarding the policies.

 

In October last year, Emefiele had announced the plan to redesign the biggest denominations of the country’s currency to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.

 

The governor had said the new notes (N200, N500 and N1000) will be effective from mid-December 2022, advising customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they will become illegal tender.

 

Reaction to the currency redesign came with copious backlash, as banks began to dispense the redesigned notes on December 15, 2022.

 

In the same month, the CBN directed deposit money banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities per week do not exceed N100,000 and N500, 000, respectively.

However, following mixed reactions from Nigerians, the apex bank increased the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million respectively.

 

According to the CBN, the aim is to boost the cashless policy and reduce the amount of cash outside the banking system.

 

The cash withdrawal policy commenced on Monday, January 9,  2023.

 

Two weeks ago, the CBN also ordered banks to halt dispensing the new currency notes over the counter, but only make them available via automated teller machines (ATMs).

 

The CBN further threatened to penalise commercial banks who fail to comply with the directive of loading the redesigned naira notes in their ATMs.

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