OPINION

GENUINE IGNORANCE OR SHEER MISCHIEF – Dr. Diala Uche

Let me break my silence briefly and weigh in on this unnecessary brouhaha over the recent CBN directives on Cash Transactions. I have been wondering what the noise is about since the charges affect only Cash deposits and withdrawals over the counter.

As an individual, you can deposit or withdraw cummulatively up to a maximum of ₦500,000 daily in Cash across the Counter and for Corporate accounts up to N3,000,000 daily. It does not matter how many deposits or withdrawals you make daily but it should not exceed those amounts. Of course you can deposit or withdraw much more than those. It is your money and your right but you will be charged for the excess. Period.

Futhermore the charges apply daily and not per transaction. If you exceed the daily cash limits as stated – N500,000 for Individual accounts and N3,000,000 for Corporate accounts, you would be charged cumulatively on the total amount deposited or withdrawn (3% and 2% for withdrawal and deposit respectively for Individual accounts and 5% and 3% respectively for Corporate accounts).

If Emeka goes to a Point of Sale (POS) merchant at Apo Mechanic village and transfers N5,000,000 into his customer Effiongs’s bank account, he will not be charged anything.

Likewise if Musa pays Adewale by transferring N10,000,000 payment into Ade’s account through mobile or bank transfer, he will not be charged anything.

People are only charged on Over-The-Counter (OTC) deposits and withdrawals above the stated limits. So what’s the beef? It is for those who love carrying plenty cash for whatever reason to deal with.

Sincerely and I say this with every sense of responsibility and sincerity, I do not see why someone should carry, deposit or withdraw such amounts in cash when it’s so easy to make a bank transfer these days. Even many of the women selling Banana and Pear on the street sides and boys selling petty goods at street lights these days have bank accounts and would quickly give you the option of doing a transfer to them if your excuse is you don’t have cash.

I sincerely think the criticism of this policy is unnecessary and overboard. Who carries the equivalent of N500,000 in Pounds in the UK or in Dollars in the US?

We must not criticize or oppose for the fun of it. If we must transit to a cashless society as is the case all over the world, then we must begin to enforce the culture of less cash transactions. We must decide if we are really ready to move up the ladder of advanced nations.

Some have called it a Tax. I call it a Deterrent.

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