The House of Representatives has moved a notch higher in its reaction to the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pegging over the counter (OTC) withdrawals by individuals at N20000 per day and N100,000 per week; and N500,000 for corporate organisations.
It has asked the apex bank to apply the brakes on the new cash withdrawal policy slated to begin January 9, 2023.
The House has also summoned CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to explain the rationale behind the new policy next Thursday, the 15th December 2022 at 11 a.m.
The resolution followed a point of order raised by Rep Mark Gbillah on the provisions of the Central Bank Act.
A day earlier, senators opposed the new policy, raising fears it could cripple the economy.
During plenary on Wednesday, the Senate set next Tuesday for thorough discussion of the controversial policy, with the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan opposing its hurried implementation.
His words: “My personal opinion is, if we want to be a cashless society, we should take time to be a cashless society and not to jump on it at once. Most Nigerians will be out of business.”
Minority Leader Phillip Aduda (PDP, FCT) said, the nation’s economy was not ripe for the new policy.
“There is need for us to speak about it because people are suffering and it is a very serious issue,” Aduda said.
He spoke while seconding a motion that the nominations of Mrs Aishah Ahmad and Mr Edward Lametek Adamu as deputy governors of CBN be referred to the committee for screening.
Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) called for an urgent and immediate debate of the policy for the sake of Nigerians, whom, he said, were extremely worried.
“My phone was inundated by calls from constituents, who are outside the formal sector. People are extremely worried. You should have allowed us to discuss this issue for the sake of Nigerians.”
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, directed the Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions to discuss the matter during the screening of the nominees for deputy governors of the bank.
He said, “At the moment, I will advise that these two deputy governors had been in the CBN for the past four years. So they are part of this system. They are not new people.
“This should be part of the major issues to be raised when they appear for screening.
“I want us to be properly informed and guided. Most of us, if not all of us, have not had an engagement with that institution….
“But we need to take the opportunity of the screening to be better informed on the policy.”