Nigeria limits cash withdrawals as part of aggressive push toward digital-only currency system – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced Tuesday that it is capping daily ATM withdrawal at 20,000 naira ($45) to encourage digital banking options.

The CBN directed all deposit money banks to limit daily and weekly ATM withdrawals as well as weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawals “in line with the Cashless policy of the CBN,” according to its Tuesday press release.

Weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawals are now capped at 100,000 naira ($225) for individuals and 500,000 naira ($1,124) for corporations, with new processing fees of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, for excessive withdrawals.

ATM cash withdrawal is also now limited to 100,000 naira ($225) per week.

“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards, POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions,” the central bank said.

The financial news outlet Pyments framed the new restrictions as a “step toward pushing Nigerians to embrace the country’s newly minted central bank digital currency (CBDC), eNaira,” which was launched last year.

“Finally, please note that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions,” the press release concluded.

Nigeria is one of a growing number of countries limiting cash use in favor of digital payments. In August, Israel restricted the use of cash for payments to businesses as well as between private citizens. Australia is cutting down on banks themselves, and experts predict that its shift to digital currency will leave the country effectively cashless by 2031 or earlier.

Over 100 countries are exploring a CBDC digital payment option, according to Atlantic Council. Eleven countries (primarily in the Caribbean) have launched a CBDC, and 50 countries are in an advanced phase of exploration (development, pilot, or launch).

Even the United States, which is considered along with the UK to be the furthest behind in CBDC development among the G7 countries, the digital payment “infrastructure” of CBDCs is ramping up, according to financial adviser Joe Brown.

On August 29, the Federal Reserve announced that its digital instant payments service FedNow would begin “full-scale pilot testing” in mid-2023. FedNow would allow “24/7 settlement … that happens instantly from bank to bank.”

Financial experts such as economist, investor, and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official Jim Rickards are warning against CBDCs because they enable government tyranny.

Rickards has asserted that “many experts,” himself included, believe a U.S. CBDC “will begin an era of total government control and surveillance.”

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, openly questioned in August what CBDCs can do that a digital payment system like Venmo cannot. He argued that the difference is that with CBDCs, the government can “monitor every one of your transactions” and “directly tax customer accounts.”

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