The recent policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, limiting cash withdrawal via the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to a daily amount of ₦60,000 as part of its effort to curb illicit financial flows out of the economy has met with a lot of backlash from the public.
Some financial experts opine that Nigeria is not yet ready for such policies as this would greatly lead to interference in the cash flow system of the country. A lot of people will lose faith in the financial system of the country and would opt for keeping their money at home which will ultimately lead to a shortage of cash in circulation. This would further pose a security risk as this would serve as nectar to various miscreants and burglars.
In an earlier policy (cashless policy) instituted by the CBN, the daily cash withdrawal limit was set at ₦150,000 and while it was a difficult development to accept, Nigerians gradually found a way to make it work for them. Although a few do not hesitate to point out that the cashless policy was not so “cashless” as the banks charged certain amounts to provide electronic services to customers. Some business men also feel that the institution of this policy at a time where points of sale mechanisms (POS) are not at their optimum best could spell doom for their businesses.
Some go further to state that this would make business transactions more difficult because not every business man in Nigeria is literate enough to use the online platforms to transfer cash. No doubt the introduction of Automated Teller Machines in the country has made life easy for a lot of Nigerians. Businesses have become efficient, the amount of cash being handled on a daily basis went down significantly and the long queues at various financial institutions were at an all time low.
What would this new development spell for the future of the Nigerian economy? Do you think it is a welcome development or should CBN go back to the drawing board? Please let us know your views by leaving a comment in the comment section below.