Cash withdrawal: Falana, PoS operators to sue CBN

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Lagos, Dec. 13, 2022 – Mr Femi Falana, a Lagos-based lawyer, and operators of PoS (Point-of-Sale) machines, have threatened to sue the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) if it fails to withdraw its policy on limited cash withdrawal . 

The CBN introduced a new policy which fixed weekly cash withdrawal limit for an individual at N100,000 and N500,00 for a corporate entity.

The policy, which will become effective on January 9, 2023, has generated criticisms, but the CBN has clarified that PoS operators can apply for a waiver.

Falana on Monday described the cash withdrawal limit as unconstitutional and advised the CBN to withdraw it.

Falana, in a statement titled: ‘Maximum withdrawal limit in Nigeria is N5m’, called on the President to direct the apex bank to withdraw the ‘illegal guideline’.

“It is embarrassing that the Central Bank of Nigeria has been making announcements without any regard to the Constitution and other relevant laws on the national economy.

“It is particularly worrisome that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has purportedly placed a limitation on cash withdrawals in Nigeria in complete defiance of Section 2 of the Money Laundering Act, 2022 which provides as follows:

“No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding (a)5,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or (b) N10,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of a body corporate.

 “A person shall not conduct two or more transactions separately with one or more financial institutions or designated non-financial businesses and professions with intent to (a) avoid the duty to report a transaction which should be reported under this Act ; and (b) breach the duty to disclose information under this act by any other means.

“Since the Money Laundering Act 2022 (which has fixed maximum cash withdrawal to N5 million) has not been amended, the limitation of cash withdrawal of not more than N20,000  per day and N100,000  per week fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria is illegal, null and void in every material.

“We urge the Nigerian people to ignore the illegal announcement.

“However, we are compelled to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the management of the CBN to withdraw the illegal guideline and stop announcing more policies that are designed to sentence poor citizens to more excruciating economic hardship,” (GBN)

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