By Abdulmumeen Aishat/Adegboye Maridiyat/Adeshina Mariam/Nasrudeen Ahmad
Bank customers and business owners in Ilorin, Kwara State have kicked against the cash-based transaction policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The apex bank had introduced a new policy on cash-based transactions which stipulates a cash handling charge on daily cash withdrawals that exceed N500,000 for Individuals and N3,000,000 for Corporate bodies.
In a circular to all Deposit Money Bank (DMBs), the Director, Payments System Management Department at the CBN, Sam Okojere; said henceforth, 3 per cent processing fees would be paid for withdrawals and 2 per cent for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
The apex bank also said corporate accounts will attract 5 per cent processing fees for withdrawals and 3 per cent processing fee for lodgments of amounts above N3 million.
However, cross section of people who spoke to Pilot Business in the Kwara State capital, described the policy as anti-people.
The Chief Executive Officer of Chieftain Builders, Mr. Chinedu Felix Ibeh, said the new CBN policy will further bring hardship to Nigerians who are grappling with the economic situation in the country.
According to him, recent economic policies by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration have negative impact on the economic life of the citizens.
“The recent closure of borders has brought about hike in prices of food items in the market and now they are introducing bank charges again which is unbearable, ” he lamented.
Similarly, Mr. James Abiodun Olawole, the Coordinator of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) called on stakeholders to protest against the policy.
A Businessman, Mr Isiak Abdullateef said, “this policy is unfavorable to me because money is actually kept in the bank for a purpose and the money has been budgeted for.
“The small amount being deducted by banks from my account over withdrawal is inconveniencing, adding to this means this government is insensitive to the plight of the citizens. I totally disagree with the policy, ” he further said.
Another businessman, Mr Uche Ona, who berated the CBN for the policy, said it will discourage people from banking their money.
” I save money in my account for safety purpose but with this development, I may have to start keeping my money at home.”
Also a Civil Servant, Jimoh Mustapha described the policy as “unfair ” to Nigerians who are being impoverish by government policies.
“Such deduction is unfair; it is extortion. Why should banks make charges over my hard earn money. The policy is not well thought out, ” he added.
A Lecturer at Kwara State University, Mal. Kamil Sodiq Alaye said the policy is of no benefit to the masses given the economic realities in the country.
He noted that the charges will eat into the profit of business people, appealing to the President Buhari- led administration to go back on the policy.
A Bank Customer, Mr. Adebayo Sani stressed that the policy is uncalled for, querying, “how will I withdraw 500,000 from my account and CBN will charge 3% of my money? Such transactions should be free of charges.
“They are not encouraging us at all they don’t want us to put money in the bank but driving us away from banking. If the CBN Governor cannot strengthen the economy he should step down from office.”