Central Bank of Nigeria Suspends Cash Deposit Processing Fees Amid Lingering Cash Scarcity

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the suspension of processing fees on cash deposits, a move aimed at addressing the prolonged cash scarcity in the country. The suspension covers the two per cent and three per cent fees previously charged on individual cash deposits above N500,000 and corporate deposits above N3 million. This decision comes in response to concerns from citizens and businesses grappling with limited access to cash, impacting daily operations.

Key Points:

  • Suspension of Processing Fees:
    • The CBN, in a letter signed by the acting Director of Banking Supervision, Dr Adetona Adedeji, has suspended the processing fees on cash deposits with immediate effect. This includes the two per cent fee for individual deposits above N500,000 and the three per cent fee for corporate deposits exceeding N3 million.
  • Duration of Suspension:
    • The suspension is set to remain in effect until April 30, 2024. During this period, financial institutions regulated by the CBN are directed to accept all cash deposits from the public without imposing any charges.
  • Addressing Cash Scarcity Concerns:
    • The decision to suspend processing fees is a response to the persistent cash scarcity witnessed in various parts of the country. Citizens, including business owners and individuals relying on daily cash transactions, have been facing challenges due to limited access to physical currency.
  • Impact on Businesses and Individuals:
    • Residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have expressed concerns over the scarcity of cash, affecting businesses such as Point of Sale (PoS) services. Business operators faced challenges withdrawing sufficient cash for daily operations, impacting their ability to meet transaction targets.
  • Response from Bank Customers Association:
    • Dr Uju Ogunbunka, the President of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, welcomed the CBN’s decision, expressing optimism that it would enhance cash circulation in the country. He believes the removal of processing fees would encourage more individuals and businesses to deposit money without concerns about additional charges.
  • Potential Impact on Cashless Policy:
    • While addressing the immediate cash scarcity issue, stakeholders anticipate that the suspension of processing fees will not undermine the broader cashless policy objectives of the Federal Government. The decision aims to strike a balance between encouraging deposits and promoting digital transactions.

Conclusion: The CBN’s move to suspend cash deposit processing fees is a targeted response to alleviate the ongoing cash scarcity challenges faced by businesses and individuals. The decision is expected to stimulate cash circulation, particularly as citizens and businesses no longer face additional charges for making deposits. As the suspension remains in effect until April 30, 2024, its impact on addressing the broader issues of the cashless policy and promoting financial inclusivity will be closely monitored.

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