The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the transaction charges on deposit and withdrawal in furtherance of implementation of its cashless policy are not new charges but those in place since the commencement of the policy. The charges are on the amount in excess of the set limits. The Director, Corporate Communication Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made the clarification in Abuja.
It will be recalled that the CBN had on September 17 issued a circular to deposit money banks to restate the commencement of the implementation of the cashless policy in six pilot states across the country. The CBN said that transactions would attract three per cent processing fees for withdrawal and two per cent processing fees for lodgement of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts. Similarly, corporate accounts would attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawal and three per cent processing fees for lodgement of amounts above N3 million. The apex bank directed that implementation should commence from Sept. 18 in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It, however, stated that the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy would take effect from March 31, 2020.
Okorafor explained that contrary to the misconception on the implementation of the policy, the charges would only be on the excess of N500,000 deposited or withdrawn for individual and N3 million for corporate body
According to him, if an individual deposited N510,000 the two per cent charge would be on the N10,000 excess which is N200 only. He said the same applied to a withdrawal of same amount, adding that the three per cent charge would be on excess of the set limits. He said that the same thing also applies to the corporate body also which five per cent on withdrawal and three per cent on lodgement of amounts above N3 million. Many Nigerians welcome the development, noting that it would enhance transparency in financial dealings and reduce crimes such as ransom payment and extortion among others. Others, however, described it as additional burden on banks’ customers who were already laden with other charges by the banks. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had also said, after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Friday in Abuja, that the policy was inaugurated in the country in 2012 and implementation began in 2014.
“The policy says if you deposit money in the bank above a particular threshold which for individual is N500,000 and N3 million for corporate bodies, then you will be charged, same for withdrawal.
He stated that the policy was not designed to de-franchise hard working Nigerians as perceived by some categories of people. According to him, a data conducted, revealed that close to 95 per cent of cash deposited and withdrawn fall below this threshold. Emefiele said Nigerians had already embraced electronic channels and online transaction in market places. He added that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises now had various options and channels available to collect a legitimate payment for goods and services, like POS, banks transfer using ATM, USD code among others.
He said that the cashless policy increases transparency in financial dealings and reduce crimes such as ransom payment and extortion among others. The governor said the bank had the mandate under the CBN Act 2007 as amended to promote a sound and stable financial system through credible efficient payment system.