From Uche Usim, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Aidoghie Paulinus and Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
In what looks like a foretaste of what may transpire in January next year, some bank customers and staff clashed over the new cash withdrawal limit in Abuja on Thursday.
The apex bank in a memo earlier in the week, directed that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities must not exceed N100, 000 and N500, 000, respectively, per week. It also directed that only N200 and lower denominations should be loaded into banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
According to the memo, the maximum cash withdrawal per week via ATM should be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day. All new rules take effect from January 9, 2023.
But a visit to some commercial banks on Thursday in Abuja saw customers and staff in heated exchanges over the matter.
Many of the depositors vowed to resist the new policy, just as the National Assembly has summoned the CBN management to throw more light on the controversial matter.
At the GT Bank in Area 11, a female customer said: “Yesterday, I was told I can’t withdraw more than N100,000, I assumed because you don’t have money but today I am being told I can’t withdraw more than that.
“How can you tell me what to do with my money?”
When another customer reminded her that the policy was from the CBN, to encourage online banking she said: “How can you tell us to do online banking? In this era of fraud? I deliberately don’t do online banking so you can’t tell me what to do”, she screamed.
Another customer who came with her baby said: “This thing you people are doing is not fair. When I came to deposit, did you tell me how much to deposit?”
Another angry female customer lamented: “the poor masses will be the ones to suffer this. A big man can write a cheque and give it to 20 people to withdraw money to bring to them. This policy does not make sense. So how are those in the villages supposed to cope with this policy?”
The situation was calmer at Ecobank, Wuse Market branch, where staff explained to anxious depositors that the implementation of the new rule starts on January 9, 2023.
According to them, “from that day, customers will only be allowed to withdraw only N20,000 per day and N100,000 weekly as directed by the CBN”.
At the Fidelity bank branch located in Wuse as well, the report was the same. The customer care officers said the directive was yet to take effect.
More so, at GTbank on N’djamena Crescent, Off Aminu Kano Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, showed that the policy billed to commence on January 9, 2023, was yet to be implemented.
A visit to the FirstBank branch on Libreville Street, also on Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, showed that the policy has not been put into force.
Some customers and a staff of the bank who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the directive was yet to commence.