From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, on Wednesday, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to make an upward adjustment of the proposed N100,000 per week for individuals and N500,000 per week for Corporate bodies in response to public outcry.
The Senate also directed its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, to embark on aggressive oversight of CBN on its commitment to flexible adjustment of the withdrawal limit and periodically report outcomes to it.
The Red Chamber however backed the CBN in its continuous implementation of transformational payments and financial industry initiatives.
It adopted the resolutions after heated debate by senators on the proposed policy during consideration and adoption of report of its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
Chairman of the Committee, Uba Sani, had in the report argued that the planned cash withdrawal limits, was well conceived by the CBN for transformation of the nation’s economy and that the action falls within the mandate of the apex bank as provided for, in section 2(d) and 47 of its extant Act.
However, during general debate on the report and recommendations later adopted as resolutions, many of the senators kicked against the timing of the policy, warning that it may lead to mass revolt in the rural areas across the country.
First to kick against it, was Ajibola Basiru, who said the proposed threshold of N100,000 and N500,000 withdrawal per week for individuals and corporate bodies respectively, was unrealistic.
“Laws are made for people and not people made or created for law . If CBN is acting under section 2(d) and 47 of its extant Act to make life difficult for Nigerians through a policy, as representatives of the people, we need to intervene.
“Such intervention from us is to make CBN realise that the proposed cash withdrawal limits policy is unrealistic and very injurious and detrimental to the well-being of rural dwellers, many of whom are our constituents.
“Report of this committee recommending the policy to us and by extension, to Nigerians through suggestion of flexibility in implementation, is vague, nebulous and means nothing,” he said.
Adamu Aliero, in his own contribution, the picture painted by the committee in its report on the proposed CBN policy, is nothing but an ideal picture of what the economy should be, which is a far cry from what economy is, in reality as far as Nigeria is concerned.
“The proposed CBN policy does not capture the informal sector and very detrimental to the livelihood of rural dwellers who are not into e-banking…”
“Public outcry against the policy is too much, requiring serious caution as far as implementation is concerned because Nigeria economy is predominantly rural,’ he said.
Adamu Bulkachuwa, in his contribution, warned that the proposed policy, if not suspended, may trigger revolt from rural dwellers.