The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Monday, suspended the processing fees of two per cent and three per cent previously charged on all cash deposits above N500,000 for individuals, and N3m for corporates with immediate effect.
This development followed the lingering cash scarcity that had persisted in different parts of the country.
In a letter signed by its acting Director of Banking Supervision, Dr Adetona Adedeji, it said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria therefore suspends the charging of processing fees of two and three previously charged on all cash deposits above these thresholds with immediate effect.”
According to the document, the suspension would remain in effect until April 30, 2024.
The apex bank directed all financial institutions regulated by it to accept all cash deposits from the public without any charges going forward
Some residents in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja had continued to express worries on scarcity of cash in the city.
Abigail Ojochenemi, a resident in the FCT lamented that she was unable to get cash from the bank when she visited on Monday.
She lamented that she needed cash for her PoS business but was unable to withdraw which is a threat to her business.
According to her, “I am a PoS business operator here in Abuja and I need cash on daily basis to keep my business running. This morning, I visited the bank to withdraw money and to my surprise, there was no money in the ATM machine. When I attempted to withdraw from First Bank ATM available in my area, I was told that, the maximum withdrawal is N20,000 per day; this is very bad for my business.
She added that her PoS service providers called to notify her that she needed to meet up with the weekly transaction target otherwise, she would risk losing her account.
“ The PoS service providers called me to remind that I need to meet my target of N140,000 today but as it stands, I am not sure to be able to meet up because of the lack of cash,” she said.
In Apo mechanic village, Abuja, a motorist Abbah Friday, who requested to use the service of a PoS operator lamented how he was made to pay a charge of N500 to withdraw N20,000 as against N200 to N300 for the same amount about three days ago.
On his part, Salisu Ali, a PoS operator in the mechanic village said he paid N1,000 to withdraw N100,000. This translates to N100 for N10,000.
“Cash is very scarce now. I couldn’t get to withdraw cash from bank so I had to pay N1000, to get N100,000,” he said.
Reacting to this new development on fees suspension, the President of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, Dr Uju Ogunbunka, said the decision by the CBN would improve cash circulation in the country.
In a phone conversation with The PUNCH, he said, he was optimistic that the removal of the charges would not derail the cashless policy of the Federal Government.
He said, “You know people have been scampering for cash in the country. Perhaps the CBN felt people don’t want to deposit money because of the charges. If that is the case, more money would come into circulation as the charges are removed.
“I believe that the decision of the CBN would address the shortage of cash presently being experienced in the country.”