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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

You are targeting politicians – Adamawa governor Fintiri fumes as Emefiele’s CBN insists on N100k withdrawal limit

The governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri, has claimed that the political class is the target of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) new cash withdrawal limit policy.

Recall that CBN set restrictions on weekly cash withdrawals for both private citizens and businesses on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The new rule, which CBN claims would go into effect on January 9, 2023, aims to lessen the amount of actual currency that is in circulation and promote more electronic-based transactions.

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However, Fintiri stated that it was obvious that Emefiele’s strategy was directed at the political elite when appearing at a campaign event in the state’s Kala’a, Hong local government area on Friday.

The governor also said having lost out in his bid to join the political class, Emefiele chose to hunt politicians.

“What is breeding poverty? Economic policies. Look at the one that is about to be implemented by the Central Bank which would further throw the country into poverty,” he said.

“Nobody is saying the economy shouldn’t be cashless. Take time and do it systematically. We shouldn’t do it as if some people wanted to be politicians and they were denied the opportunity, then they use their office to punish the politicians.

“If we are talking about governors diverting funds, we expect the government to correct the anomaly by sponsoring an amendment to the Nigerian constitution to separate the office of the accountant general of the federation from the accountant general of the federal government so that funds belonging to local government and the state would not also be converted by the federal government because what the governors are being accused of, the federal government can equally be accused of doing same ten times over.”

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This comes after Fintiri claimed that the Federal Government was the main offender in the unauthorized withdrawals of funds from local and state governments.

He was responding to remarks made by President Muhammadu Buhari that governors impede national growth by fiddling with local government funding.

The Buhari-led administration has also accused state governors of contributing to the nation’s high poverty rate, claiming that their failure to fulfill their fair share of development obligations is to blame for the rise in poverty.

Meanwhile, CBN, on Friday told the Senate that the planned policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) to limit cash withdrawal for individuals at N100,000 and Corporate Bodies N500, 000 per week was introduced in 2012 during former President Goodluck Jonathan ‘s administration, extended to Abuja and six other States in 2013.

Speaking yesterday when she appeared before the Senator Uba Sani, APC, Kaduna Central led  Senate Committee on Banking , Insurance and other Financial Institutions, the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Mrs Aishat Ahmad said that  cashless policy being fully implemented by CBN now is not new , as required steps in that direction, was taken in 2012 with Lagos State as pilot scheme and Abuja and Six other states in 2013.

She however said that the Apex bank was   flexible and will be ready to accommodate opinions that will not  make the policy strainous to any category of Nigerians during implementation

Her disclosure is coming on the heels of  controversies surrounding the planned policy by the apex bank.

The CBN Deputy Governor spoke  yesterday  during the  screening exercise carried out on her and her counterparts on Corporate Services , Edward Lametek Adamu for re  – appointments by the Senate Committee on Banking , Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

Ahmed  who noted  that though full implementation of the policy has not been carried out  by CBN  since then, said that  its introduction thenhas brought a lot of transformation in the banking and payment system, adding, ” Distinguished Chairman of this committee and members , I ‘m happy for the opportunity given to make presentations on planned N100,000 withdraw limit for individuals and N500, 000 for Corporate Bodies per week , beginning from 9th January 2023, in line with cashless policy introduced in 2012.

“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy with a proposed limit on cash withdrawals per week is now.

“Required infrastruture for its implementation in terms of financial access point system , mobile money , e – naira  etc ,  are available across the 774 local government councils in the country.

“All fears and worries being expressed by Nigerians on the planned limited cash withdrawal policy are seriously being taken care of as nobody or section of Nigerians , will be left out.

“In the past , banking transactions in Nigeria was limited to Bank Branches alone as the only means , which has now expanded into multiple electronic platforms  as well as geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4million.”

Soon after the presentation, Chairman of the  Committee,  Senator Uba Sani gave the two nominees   take a bow and go treatment  as moved by the Whip of the Senate , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, APC, Abia North and seconded by Senator Danjuma Goje, APC, Gombe Central

In his remarks, Senator Uba Sani said,  ” With a presentation made by the Deputy Governor of CBN on Financial System Stability, Aisha Ndanusa Ahmad on the planned limited cash withdrawal, required information on the merits of the policy has been given and will be communicated to the Senate in plenary through our report.

“The two Deputy Governors , having earlier been screened before serving their first tenures , need not to again as unanimously agreed by members of the Committee. They should therefore take a bow and go.”

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