Nigeria Suspends Fees on Large Cash Deposits in Policy Shift

Abuja, Nigeria: In a surprise move, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the suspension of processing fees on large cash deposits until April 30th, 2024. This decision affects deposits exceeding N500,000 for individual accounts and N3,000,000 for corporate accounts.

Previously, the CBN levied a 2% processing fee on individual deposits and a 3% fee on corporate deposits exceeding the designated thresholds. This policy aimed to discourage large cash transactions and promote the use of electronic payment channels.

The suspension, outlined in a release issued by the Acting Director of Supervision, Dr. Adetona Adedeji, applies to the “Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial Institutions, and Non-Bank Financial Institutions” issued on December 20th, 2019.

While the CBN has not explicitly stated the rationale behind this sudden policy shift, it is likely motivated by several factors:

  • Encouraging cash deposits: The suspension could address concerns about cash scarcity and improve access to financial services for those who rely heavily on cash transactions.
  • Promoting financial inclusion: By making cash deposits more accessible, the CBN may be aiming to bring more individuals and businesses into the formal financial system.
  • Potential impact on cash usage: The long-term impact of this policy on the CBN’s goal of reducing cash usage remains unclear. The suspension may encourage some individuals and businesses to shift back to cash transactions, potentially negating some of the progress made in promoting digital payments.

The CBN’s decision has sparked mixed reactions. While some welcome the move as a relief for individuals and businesses, others express concerns about the potential impact on the fight against money laundering and the CBN’s efforts to promote a cashless economy.

It is important to note that the suspension is temporary, and the CBN may reconsider its policy after April 30th, 2024. Only time will tell whether this policy change represents a significant shift in the CBN’s long-term strategy or a temporary measure to address specific economic challenges.

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