News Column

CBN Rolls Out Cashless Policy Across Nigeria, July 1

June 24, 2014

Bassey Udo

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday announced the take-off of the third and final phase of the cashless policy in 30 states.

The banking sector regulator said in Abuja that the decision to roll off the policy in the states followed the successful completion of Phases 1 and 2 in six pilot states and Abuja.

Phase 1 of the scheme took off in Lagos on January 1, 2012, while additional states, namely Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers States, as well as Abuja, were involved in Phase 2, which commenced on October 1, 2013.

The CBN, in a notice by its Corporate Affairs Department to all stakeholders and the general public, said Phase 3 of the policy's implementation would commence in the remaining 30 States of the Federation on July 1 as scheduled.

The bank however pointed out that as was the case in the pilot states, a one-year waiver has been granted on the application of withdrawal charges in the 30 states.

"This means that withdrawal charges will continue to apply to transactions above the specified limits in Abia, Anambra, Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Rivers States and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja)," the CBN said.

The charges on withdrawals for both individual and corporate account holders, the regulator said, would only take effect in the 30 States from July 1, 2015.

The waiver, it explained, would allow ample time for the deployment of adequate infrastructure needed to support the policy, as well as additional sensitisation of various stakeholders on the merits of the policy.

In effect, 3 per cent charge for daily individual cumulative or single cash withdrawals in excess of N500,000, as 5 per cent charge on daily cumulative or single cash withdrawals in excess of N3 million would be suspended in the affected states till further notice.

In line with the policy roll-out, the GTBank, in a statement to all its customers, said that the cash-in-transit lodgement and cash evacuation services would no longer be available to customers or merchants.

The cashless policy, the bank said, was applicable to all accounts, including collection or sub-accounts accounts linked to the same account holder, which would be treated as one account for both corporate and individual accounts.

"Kindly note that the above limits apply so far as it involves cash, irrespective of channel (over the counter, automated teller machine, ATM, 3rd party cheques cashed over the counter)," GTB said.

The bank, however, said exemptions have been granted on withdrawals for accounts operated by Embassies, Diplomatic Missions, Multilateral Agencies, Aid Donor Agencies, government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (revenue collection only), Microfinance Banks, MFBs and Primary Mortgage Institutions, PMIs.

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Source: AllAfrica

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