Cash Limits: POS Operators Give CBN Ultimatum

by EnireTvNews
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The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria is hopeful that before the new year, the Central Bank of Nigeria will change its policy regarding cash withdrawal limits.

Victor Olojo, the national president of AMMBAN, revealed to newsmen on Sunday that the National Assembly had pledged to persuade CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele to change the policy.

The CBN’s new policy set weekly cash withdrawal limits at N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporations.

The directive also stated that, starting on January 9, processing fees of 5% and 10%, respectively, would apply to individuals and corporate entities for withdrawals above the thresholds.

Additionally, while the current clearing cheque limits of N10 million are still in effect, third-party cheques over N50,000 will not be accepted for over-the-counter payment.

The CBN was urged to review its policy by the PoS operators in a petition that was submitted on December 16, 2022, in order to prevent 1.4 million bank agents from losing their source of income.

Giving an update on the matter, Olojo explained that the group has soft-pedaled on its planned legal action due to the assurances given by the CBN and National assembly that POS operators would not be impacted by the policy.

He, however, warned that if the policy was not reversed before the end of the year, its members would take to the streets to demand its reversal and also drag the apex bank to court.

The PoS operators’ union president said, “We have not gone to court yet because we have gotten assurances and we are waiting for a formal response from the CBN. We have visited the National Assembly and we have also explored other tools at our disposal at this time.

“They have given words of assurance that mobile money and POS operators would not be affected. So, we are waiting for an official statement from the CBN. However, if anything doesn’t change by the end of the year, we will go to the streets to protest and go to court.

‘’Remember that the Director of Banking Supervision, Mustafa Haruna, was quoted on a television station to have categorically stated that mobile money and bank agents would not be affected, so we just want to take that as an assurance while waiting for a formal report. We have written to the CBN but we are yet to get a response.’’

Olojo further hinged his hopes on the assurances by the CBN governor that the policy would be flexible.

“The CBN governor also said they will be flexible, so we are waiting for a revised policy that shows the flexibility. The national assembly also said they will prevail on the governor as they are opposed to the new CBN policy,’’ he noted.

Also commenting on the policy, the Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Lagos State chapter, Dr Adams Adebayo confirmed to our correspondent that the association met with the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance And Other Financial Institutions on the matter last week.

“The Senate committee has assured the Council of MSMEs that the CBN Governor will review it, especially for PoS and small business owners,’’ Adebayo explained.

The CBN spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi, could not be reached for comments Sunday on when the apex bank would announce the review of the policy as calls to his phone indicated he was unavailable.

Commenting on the policy, the President, the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Abakpa Anthony said it was too harsh, adding that the CBN should have run a pilot system and seen the level of compliance before introducing it.

He also argued that as much as the cashless policy would help Nigerians, the nation has not developed to the extent of implementing a full-blown cash limits policy.

The NUBIFI boss said, “The people in the rural areas do not have phones that support online transactions, and in most cases there won’t be a network to consummate transactions.”

He further stated that the ATM and PoS withdrawal limits may throw many Nigerians into poverty and render the POS operators jobless.

”Some cattle dealers who buy and sell in large numbers in the rural areas where there is no network; what will happen to them? When Nigeria is ripe for such policy, Nigerian workers will know.”

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to Gombe State Governor on Strategy and Information Management, Ahmed Gombe, has said the state government was also opposed to the CBN policy on the grounds that the amount stipulated by the CBN was inadequate.

Gombe was reacting to a report that the NGF was opposed to the cash withdrawal policy and that the 36 state governors planned to meet with the Presidency on the matter.

Speaking in a chat with newsmen, the media aide stated, “The governor of Gombe state supports any Federal Government policy provided it is in the interest of the Nigerian people , especially in Gombe state. At the same time, he also supports any collective decision taken by his colleagues in the best interest of the Governors Forum.’’

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