House orders CBN to halt charges on bank transactions

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja


The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to suspend the implementation charges introduced on cash deposit under the cashless policy.

The decision followed a motion unanimously adopted under matters of urgent public importance on the floor of the house.

Sponsor of the motion, Mr. Benjamin Kalu explained that implementing the policy will impact negatively on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises being the engine room for economic development and employment generation.

The lawmaker maintained that the policy will also enrich Nigerian Money Deposit Banks who do not contribute to the consolidated revenue of the government.

“Concerned that this overbearing burden aimed at closing down majority of micro, mini, small and medium businesses in Nigeria is also aimed at enriching Nigerian Money Deposit Banks owned by a privileged few, without any known financial contribution to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation;

Deeply concerned that the Central Bank of Nigeria did not consider the people as the as prime, important and in deed the centre piece of policy-making, even as Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Altered) provides for the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government.” Mr. Kalu argued.

Mr. Benjamin however, appealed to the house to as a matter of urgency direct its relevant committee to interface with leadership of the apex bank for immediate reversal of the decision in the interest of humanity.

Contributing to the debate, Muhammad Gudaji Kazaure said the policy will discourage Nigerians from keeping their money with Banks, there defeating the essence of the cashless policy.

“Charging some one that would deposit his cash will make our people to be keeping their money at home thereby attracting criminals.

Initially government is asking people not to be keeping cash with them, but if the sum of fifteen thousand will be deducted in every five hundred thousand naira cash deposit, our people will stop utilizing the Banks’ services.” Kazaure added.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, introduced a policy on cash-based transactions which imposed a cash handling charge on daily cash withdrawals that exceed N500,000 for individuals and N3,000,000 for corporate bodies in 2012.

This week the apex bank announced that the charges will take effect from Wednesday 18th September, 2019  and will attract 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% per cent processing fees for lodgments of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts; 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% per cent processing fee for lodgments of amounts above N3,000,000 for corporate accounts.

The pilot scheme of the policy is being implemented in Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Kano and Rivers States as well as the Federal Capital, Abuja.