Photo Collage of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN and Bales of New Naira Notes

Naira Redesign Policy:  Cash withdrawal limits take effect in economy

*The Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash withdrawal limits take effect Monday, January 9, in line with the Naira redesign policy and introduction of the new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes in the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the country’s Naira redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash withdrawal limits become effective Monday, January 9, 2023.

ConsumerConnect reports the CBN had stated that the new currency policy is sequel to the official launch of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by President Muhammadu Buhari November 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

Some Nigerians have expresses concerns over the relatively unavailability and quality of three newly redesigned Naira notes weeks after their release into circulation.

It is also recalled the Bankers’ Bank, December 6, 2022, had directed the  Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) to ensure that weekly Over-the-Counter (OTC) cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.

The CBN as well limited the maximum daily withdrawals via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals at N20,000, and said only denominations of N200 and below would be loaded into the ATMs.

However, the directive created controversy and outrage from millions of Nigerian consumers and members of the National Assembly (NASS), who openly disapproved of the policy.

Subsequently, several PoS operators also complained that the new Naira policy would disrupt their business activities and negatively affect the employment of several millions of Nigerians in the e-payments ecosystem in the country.

Some politicians and lawmakers as well argued that the CBN’s must have been targeted at opposition parties ahead of the forthcoming 2023 General Elections.

Adjustment of withdrawal limits by CBN

In response to a wide spectrum of consumers’ concerns about the Naira redesign policy, the banking sector regulator December 21, 2022, later adjusted the weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5 million for corporate establishments.

Of January 31 deadline

As the January 31, 2023, deadline for cessation of the old Naira notes as legal tender draws near, Nigerians again, have expressed concerns over the limited supply of the three new Naira notes to the DMBs for cash payments to their customers.

The CBN recently directed commercial banks to halt OTC payment of the new notes but load their ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes to boost circulation.

Nonetheless, both consumers and several banks’ officials have disclosed that they contend with short supplies of the redesigned banknotes.

Many of the bankers also, assured the customers of improved availability of the redesigned Naira denominations in weeks ahead, according to reports.

ConsumerConnect had also reported that in connection with the recent concerns over the quality of the new notes, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Plc, in a statement issued Friday, January 6, clarified that the newly redesigned and introduced Naira notes remain the national symbol and meet the international standards’.

The NSPM explained the notes also passed through the same printing processes as the others in circulation.

The mint company also said: “In addition, the second stage of currency printing (Intaglio) requires a heavy deposit of special inks with fairly large particles to give a tactile feeling of the portraits as well as other raised prints by way of design.

“One of the properties of intaglio inks is non-solubility in water and ease of transfer (light stain) on plain white materials owing to the size of the particles.”

It stated “this is generally a security feature of all banknotes that easily differentiates them from forged or counterfeited notes.”

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