Political parties in Nigeria have kicked against the new cash withdrawal limits introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, stating that it could choke the political process of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party, Africa Democratic Congress, and African Democratic Party contended that the policy would affect the fundraising required by the candidates to sustain their campaigns ahead of the 2023 elections.
Speaking in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Sunday, the African Action Alliance, Zenith Labour Party, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance declared that it would impact the poor rural dwellers.
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State had accused the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of targeting the political class with the new cash withdrawal limit which restricts over-the-counter cash withdrawal by individuals and companies to N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.
It also limited point-of-sale machines and automated teller machine withdrawals to N20,000 daily.
According to a memo signed Tuesday by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of five percent and 10 percent, respectively, for individuals and corporate entities going forward.
In addition, third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10m on clearing cheques still remain.
The circular also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs and restricted withdrawal to N20, 000 per day from ATMs.
The policy, which will become effective on January 9, 2023, has generated criticisms but the CBN clarified on Wednesday that PoS operators could apply for waivers.
Commenting on the circular, the Director, Strategic Communications, National Election Management Committee of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Chief Dele Momodu, said the recent cash withdrawal policy announced would affect the parties’ funding activities, adding that “if enforced, the policy will strangulate the political process, not the PDP alone.”