The recent controversial policy announced by Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, over the limit of money withdrawal from the consumer’s level to the higher state including companies, has generated brouhaha in the country.
However, the CBN governor disclosed that an allowable amount of N20, 000 as a limit for banks and POS withdrawal for costumers with small or expanded accounts in general in a single day.
Meanwhile a company is allowed to withdraw a maximum of N100, 0000 in a day.
It may be a good decision as it will reduce the wide circulation of notes in the system. However, the withdrawal limit needs to be reconsidered because of the people living in rural areas across the country, as they have no banks to deposit their money into accounts.
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Millions of Nigerians living in the rural areas do not have bank account, they depend on saving money at home.
The report has generated uproar in the country as millions of people need above such limits to manage their homes or business. Moreover, the bank charges arising from using POS will also be a burden on the people’s little savings.
The policy was also introduced ahead of Nigeria’s general elections, and end of year festivities will also further burden the people.
The federal government should reconsider the rural areas and extend the implementation of the withdrawal limit to enable those living in the rural areas open bank accounts and save their money.
Government can use the media and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to carry out massive enlightenment of the new policy to enable the rural areas understand it. It should enlighten them on how they can open and maintain bank accounts.
Our banks should also be directed to sensitise our people on how to open accounts and make the process easy for those in the rural areas.
It is worth reiterating that the decision of the federal government and CBN was done without due consideration to the situation of Nigerians especially in the rural areas.
Our rural populace are important to the well-being of the country and should not be alienated and put into additional difficulty.
Comfort John, Department of Mass Communication, Borno State University
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