The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the implementation of the cashless policy it recently re-introduced. At the plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy will lead to a significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.
The lawmakers said although the policy is expected to reduce the risk of cash-related crimes among other benefits, its implementation would have negative impacts on micro, small, and medium enterprises thereby throwing many of them out of business and sending more Nigerians into poverty.
In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge three percent processing fees for withdrawals and two percent for deposits of amounts above five hundred thousand naira for individual accounts.
Corporate account holders will be charged five percent processing fees for withdrawals and three percent for deposits of amounts above three million naira. The directive was, however, criticized by some Nigerians for various reasons.
During plenary on Thursday, a lawmaker from Abia state, Benjamin Kalu, said while Nigerians are still battling with the burden of the numerous bank charges introduced by commercial banks, the CBN deemed it necessary to impose the implementation of cashless policy on deposits, without due consultations with all stakeholder who will be impacted by the policy.
The lower legislative chamber subsequently urged the CBN to suspend the implementation of the policy until the appropriate and extensive consultative process is concluded.