Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has revealed that the recently launched controversial policy that limits cash withdrawal for Nigerians was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Emefiele made this disclosure just as the House of Representatives ordered the apex bank to halt the policy’s implementation.
“The president said we should carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to bother anybody,” Mr Emefiele said in Daura, Katsina State on Thursday.
Mr Emefiele defended the bank’s decision stating that numerous electronic channels have been established to support cashless transactions in the nation. He also stated that the recent move was necessary to actualise the overdue call for a cashless policy, which has been repeatedly abandoned since 2012 due to a lack of suitable payment infrastructure in the nation.
The governor promised Nigerians that the apex bank would not be overly strict in executing the new policy, promising that it would be revisited on a regular basis.
The central bank has continued to make critical economic decisions in isolation while claiming Mr Buhari’s support.
In October, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed chastised the apex for failing to engage her ministry before implementing the new monetary policy to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes.
The CBN announced on Tuesday that individuals and corporate organisations would not be able to withdraw more than N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week from over-the-counter, point-of-sale machines or automated teller machines.
Several commentators describe the policy as an attempt to tax all dimensions of financial transactions – cash and internet banking.
According to the new CBN policy, cash withdrawals in excess of the restrictions will be subject to processing costs of five and 10 per cent, respectively.