The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently imposed fresh cash withdrawal limits on individuals and organizations, which will become effective on January 9, 2023. According to a memo issued by the CBN to banks, individuals will only be able to withdraw N100,000 per week (from over-the-counter, point-of-sale machines, or automated teller machines), while organizations can access N500,000 per week.
The role of mobile money agents is to bridge the gap between the banks and the Nigerian masses. This new policy totally jeopardizes the initiative, what this simply means is that all POS operators have in a week to do business as a mobile money agent is N100,000, practically putting them out of business.
In a recent interview with Punch, The National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, Victor Olojo revealed that in the year 2021 the association processed a cumulative of 6.4 trillion in terms of value on Pos transactions and that in the year 2022 they have also exceeded the numbers from the previous year (6.4 trillion) within the third quarter of 2022. What this means is that with this policy in place, operators would not be able to meet the needs of Nigerians.
Arbiterz spoke to some POS operators in Lagos about the new CBN policy, our interviews show that the CBN policy would affect operators because Nigeria is still a cash-dominant economy, and other alternative ways of payment have not been fully embraced.
Oluwatosin Ishola, 30 years old
“I am a POS operator, I help my customers in processing transactions like paying their staff, and sending money to other customers, this won’t happen again if the policy is implemented.”
The CBN’s new cash withdrawal limit will really affect my business because daily I withdraw N300,000 and I have some customers that make transactions of more than N50,000 per day and will not be able to do that again unless they go to the bank to make their transactions.
I am a POS operator, I help my customers in processing transactions like paying their staff, and sending money to other customers, this won’t happen again if the policy is implemented.
All I just need is their account number because most people are so lazy to go to the bank to make transactions instead they look for a trustworthy POS operator. Things were all smooth and business was doing well until CBN brought the memo of withdrawing 20,000 daily which I believe might eventually not work out, but at least one just has to be prepared because our government can do and undo, but one thing I believe is that people will definitely find another source of income if they definitely want to go on with it.
Sadly, I know I will definitely lose my business and also my customers, so I just feel that CBN should be considerate enough not to make me jobless because as a young graduate I am just looking for anything that will bring money but as it may be now the government is trying to destroy all of it so I will just plead that the government should not go on with it because I do not want to be jobless again. If they really want to go ahead with the policy there won’t be profit, I will practically run at a loss.
Sanni Ahmed, Transporter/POS Operator, 54 years old
‘’If the CBN decides to go on with their policy, instead of running at loss I will rather go into my transporting business fully.”
I am a transporter and also run a POS business at the same time. I am not happy with what the CBN is planning on doing because I never believed this POS business will end so fast because of the amount of profit I make from doing the business daily not to talk of weekly, so I am really disappointed.
I have done so many businesses that do not go well aside from my transporting business so I decided to go into the POS business fully where I make more profit and I am okay with it, I sometimes run at a loss because when making transfers to beneficiaries and they come back saying they did not get any money or maybe a customer make a transfer to me and I don’t get alert, but that does not really happen every time because on my own end I try to settle it in order to keep my customers.
The CBN cash withdrawal limit policy is really going to kill my business because sometimes customers come to withdraw N50,000 – N100,000 on a daily basis and when they come, I tell them I don’t have that kind of amount with me, and the business will definitely go down. I am pleading with the government not to go on with this plan because I know they cannot provide jobs for everyone, the government should not go on with the plan and they should please try and make an adjustment to the policy.
Mohammed Aliyu, 40 years
‘’If CBN wants to go on with their cash withdrawal policy of N20,000 I will prefer I go back to my village to start farming’’.
I came to Lagos in search of greener pastures but on getting here life has been really hard not until when a friend of mine introduced me to the POS business after which I have done so many businesses and did not succeed at them. it’s barely a year since I started my POS business and in the space of a year, I was able to save up for myself and my family. Ever since I heard about the CBN’s new policy I have been thinking of how to survive with my family, I don’t have anything to fall back on so instead of staying back in Lagos I will rather go back to my village to start farming.
I am a family man and that is the only source of income I have, so I am using this medium to plead with the Government.
Emmanuel Adeniyi, 34 years old
‘’I lost my job to start my POS business and CBN is trying to bring in their policy I just think I need to look for another business to do’’.
I started this POS business a few months ago and at least have been able to save up for myself, but now that the CBN brought up this cash withdrawal limit thing, it will definitely kill my business and I will just have to look for another job to do, I have younger siblings that look up to me for money and other stuff.
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This cash withdrawal limit will cripple my business because the amount I will start making on a weekly basis will be what I used to make for a day, so am pleading with the CBN not to move on with this Policy. I am a graduate who has been in search of a job in which eventually I got one and I lost it before I then decided to go into the POS business, now everything will definitely end if the government should move on with this plan.
Temitope Olumuyiwa, 52 years old
“This news just broke and a lot of POS agents are already complaining bitterly’’.
I in particular have been complaining bitterly since I heard about this policy, which limits POS
transactions to N20,000, it will definitely send me out of business. I have other things I do that bring in money for me but this POS business has been the best ever because most Nigerians do not go to banks to process transactions anymore, instead they go to a mobile money agent closer to them. The impact of the new policy on individuals and the economy would really be tough as Nigeria is still a cash-dominant society.
Ayanfeoluwa Adeniji, POS Operator, 28 years old
“It is still crazy that all I will have in a week to do business as a mobile money agent is N100,000. This means I am practically out of business!”
This policy would affect operators because Nigeria is still a cash-dominant economy, and other alternative ways of payment have not been fully embraced. So, this policy is not just a very bad one, but also very inconsiderate of the job opportunity it has created for some of the citizens of the country. Even if it will be done there should at least be more time in order to make POS operators look for another business to venture into. what will bring in money because this new policy will definitely render people jobless most especially young people who just started the business. It is still crazy that all I will have in a week to do business as a mobile money agent is N100,000. This means I am practically out of business!