The recently reintroduced cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has kicked off on Saturday, April 1, 2017.
In February 2017, the apex bank announced that it was bringing back charges on cash deposits and withdrawals in a bid to promote its cashless policy.
It had said then that this would first commence in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra and Rivers States before bringing in other states.
Under the policy, there would be a 1.5 percent charge on deposits on individual accounts from N500,000 above to N1 million, while for withdrawal will attract 2 percent.
However, there would not be charges on individual account for cash deposits and withdrawals less than N500,000.
It had also said for individuals depositing or withdrawing between N1 million and N5 million, they would have to pay extra charge of 2 percent and 3 percent respectively, while for above N5 million will part with 3 percent and 7.5 percent for deposits and withdrawals respectively.
Also, for corporate account holders, deposits and withdrawals under N3 million would be free, while between N3 million to N10 million will pay 2 percent and 5 percent respectively for cash deposits and withdrawals.
Similarly, for deposits and withdrawals between N10 million and N40 million on corporate accounts, customers will be charged 3 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, while deposits or withdrawals above N40 million will attract a charge of 5 percent and 10 percent respectively.
The decision to bring back these charges, according to the CBN, was taken after the 493rd meeting of the Bankers Committee, which took place on February 8, 2017.
It said it was agreed at the meeting that the cashless policy charges on withdrawal and deposit should be “extended to the 30 remaining states of the federation” after practising it in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers and the FCT.
According to a statement issued by the CBN then, “the new charges will take effect from April 1, 2017, in the existing cash-less states (Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers and the FCT,” while the policy will be “implemented with the charges taking effect on May 1, 2017 in Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Ondo, Osun and Plateau States.”
From October 1, 2017, the policy will commence in Borno, Benue, Ekiti, Cross- River, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Yobe, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
The apex bank had explained that “the income generated from the processing fees charged above the allowable cash transaction limits shall be shared between the CBN and the banks in the ratio of 40:60.”
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings on the new policy. While some see it as a good idea, others disagree.
“How do you force people into electronic banking when the system is not fully ready for it?” a customer of one of the banks, who identified himself as Mr Adelakun Tosin, queried.