Reps ask CBN to stop cash withdrawal limit policy, summon Emefiele

The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rescind its planned implementation of cash withdrawals limits it earlier announced.

The apex bank n the policy made public recently stated a cash withdrawal limit N100,000 weekly, and N20,000 daily for individuals and N500,000 daily maximum for corporate entities.

The House in a resolution on the matter on Thursday, also summoned Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to appear next week to explain to the House on the impact and significance of the new policy, as the urged suspension is to last pending the outcome of the expected meeting with the House on the compliance of the apex bank with relevant sections of the CBN Qct and other relevant laws.

Raising concerns over the announced policy, Chairman of the Committee on Power, Hon. Aliyu Magaji Da’u, in a motion said, “My heart bleeds for the people who voted us into power, we seem to come to Abuja and forget about them and this is my opinion”, recalling how in about a month ago, Nigerians woke up to hear that there will be new currency notes.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Education,
Hon. Aminu Suleman, said allowing the policy might be “an exit board for many of us if we allow this radical decision to succeed and there for my voice must be heard on this. There are several government Chief Executives in this country that have outlived the essence of their positions because I cannot simply understand how we can wake up one day and introduce this draconian approach to businesses…”

Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who offered a contrary opinion said, “Part of the problems that is enforcing kidnapping and all vices that are very inimical today, if you go to the communities today, they will ask them to contribute money is because there is cash everywhere. If you want to stop banditry, make it impossible for them to have cash, there should not be available cash for them”.

Another twist was added by Hon. Mark Gbillah, who in citing section 8(4,5) of the CBN Act pointed out that the apex bank’s Governor is required to consult with the parliament over certain policies, saying the procedure was breached.

When asked by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to state whether the House Committee on Banking and Currency was briefed on the recent development, a member of the panel, Hon. Mela Danzariya, said for his over three years stay and being a member of the committee, “I have never seen the CBN Governor giving us any report. For four times, he has increased interest rate for loaners.”

Emefiele is expected to face the House next Thursday, unless in the words of Gbajabiamila, he is able to obtain the understanding of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, for a joint session on the matter on Tuesday.