The Federal Government is to stop cash withdrawal from all public accounts with immediate effect.
In place of cash withdrawals, public officers are to open domiciliary accounts in foreign and local currencies ahead of the commencement of the new policy, which comes on the heels of the new Naira withdrawal policy announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, in a statement, yesterday, gave the new directive at a parley with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, in Abuja.
Section 1 of Money Laundering Prohibition Act activated
The statement by the NFIU’s Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, said that the introduction of the new policy became necessary following the consistent devaluation of the Naira and the introduction of a new Naira Policy, which automatically activates Section 1 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
The action is also said to have been activated following observation that most cash withdrawals from government accounts, including payments for estacode for public officials, were often in excess of the cash withdrawal limit provided by the Money Laundering Act.
The development, according to the NFIU boss, exposes innocent public officials to being liable to imprisonment.
NFIU developing advisory to SGF, state governors, LGs
Tukur also said the NFIU was already developing an advisory to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, state governors and local government chairmen across the country to direct all public servants in their employ to open domiciliary and Naira accounts ahead of the commencement of the policy, which becomes compulsory by law.
Govs, LGs need to organise training for market men, women on use of ATM, PoS Services—NFIU
Tukur said governors and local government chairmen would also need to organise training for market men and women on how to use ATM and PoS Services.
Denies plan to block FG accounts Jan 1, 2023
Tukur described as false, claims by some persons that the NFIU would block all Federal Government accounts from January 1, 2023.
Policy strengthens latest CBN cash withdrawal limit policy
This move by NFIU is expected to give stronger teeth to the enforcement of the latest CBN policy on cash withdrawal limits where corporate and individual withdrawing amounts above the specified limits can easily be tracked by security agents.
The apex bank, in a circular issued to financial institutions, dated December 6, 2022, and signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, stated that individuals and corporate organisations’ withdrawal limits are not to exceed N100,000 and N500,000 respectively per week.
Withdrawals above these limits, the circular stated, will attract processing fees of five per cent for individuals and 10 per cent for corporate organizations.
“Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist,” it said.
The circular also stated that the maximum cash withdrawal per week via ATM shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day as “only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.“likewise, the maximum cash withdrawal via point of sale (PoS) terminal was fixed at N20,000 daily.
“In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits are required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000.00 and N10,000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements.”
To be eligible for the special withdrawals above the stipulated limit, the CBN said individuals and corporate organizations will have to upload on a CBN portal created for the purpose valid means of identification of the payee such as National ID, International Passport, Driver’s License, Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee.
Also, to be made available to the CBN will be the notarised customer declaration of the purpose for the cash withdrawal, senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable and approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the bank authorizing the withdrawal.