CASHLESS POLICY: CBN buckles, shifts kick-off date

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By Babajide Komolafe & Favour Nnabugwu
LAGOS— The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday that it has postponed nationwide implementation of the cashless policy till January 1, 2013 and also granted partial exemption to ministries, parastatals and agencies  (MDAs) only for the purposes of revenue collection.

This was  part of the amendments to the cashless policy announced in a statement issued yesterday and signed by the Head Corporate Communications, CBN, Alhaji Abdullai Mohammed. The statement was  entitled, “REVIEW OF INDUSTRY POLICY ON RETAIL CASH COLLECTION AND LODGEMENT.”

The amendments include upward review of the limit for free cash transactions for individuals to N500,000 from N150,000 and for corporate bodies to N3 million from N1 million.

The charges or processing fee for cash transactions above the limits were reviewed downward. For individuals the charge cash deposits was reduced to 3 per cent per N1000 from N10 per cent, while for corporate accounts, it was reduced to five per cent from 10 per cent.

The statement said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) having monitored the partial implementation of the Cashless Policy in Lagos State and following discussions with various stakeholders on the effective implementation of the project, has decided to reassess the policy to allow for smooth transition and adoption in Lagos State in the first instance, and the entire country at a later date. Consequently, the CBN as a responsive institution has reviewed the policy as follows:

Daily Cumulative Cash Withdrawals/Lodgments Limits:

The daily cumulative limits of N150,000 and N1 million have been reviewed upwards to N500,000 and N3 million on free withdrawals and lodgments by individual and corporate customers respectively.

Processing fee for withdrawals: The processing fee for withdrawals above the limit for individual customers has been reviewed downwards from 10% to 3%, while the processing fee for withdrawals above the limit for corporate bodies has also been reviewed downwards from 20% to 5%.

Processing fee for lodgments:

The processing fee for lodgments above the limit for individual customers has been reviewed downwards from 10% to 2%, while the processing fee for lodgments above the limit for corporate bodies has also been reviewed downwards from 20% to 3%.

Exemptions:

Exemptions have been granted to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal and state governments on lodgments for accounts operated by them, for the purpose of revenue collections ONLY.

The cash-less policy applies to transactions conducted in branches of banks situated in Lagos State only for now. The implementation of the newly approved processing charges by deposit money banks in Lagos State will commence on April 1, 2012. It should, however, be noted that the charges are subject to review every six months.

Meanwhile, the pilot programme in Lagos State has now been extended to December  31, 2012 in order to allow people to be more conversant with the new initiative. As such, the roll-out of the programme in other states of the federation has been deferred to January 1, 2013.

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