• The Nigeria government is set to ban cash withdrawals from government accounts from March 1.
• The Central Bank of Nigeria is limiting ATM withdrawals to $45 per day and over-the-counter withdrawals to $225 for individuals and $1,124 for corporations.
• Bitcoin and Cardano have been offering hope to those locked out of the banking industry, with the deployment of the digital Naira.
The Nigerian government is making moves to transition it’s economy to a digital system in order to tackle illicit activities from top to bottom. This transition means cash withdrawals from government accounts will be discontinued from March 1, as announced by Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Chief Executive Modibbo Tukur.
The move comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria has limited ATM withdrawals to a maximum of $45 per day, with denominations of 1,000 nairas ($2.25) and 500 nairas ($1.10) not available on cash vending machines from January. Additionally, the bank has limited weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawals to 100,000 nairas ($225) for individuals and 500,000 nairas ($1,124) for corporations.
The country has also been suffering from terrorist extremists dubbed Boko Haram and the president and the central bank can authorize exceptions for exceptional cases. With millions of Nigerians living in abject poverty, the digital economy offers hope, with Bitcoin and Cardano leading the way. The deployment of the digital Naira has provided an easier and more secure way to make payments and transactions, as the currency is not susceptible to counterfeiting or theft.
The government’s shift to the digital economy is a crucial step in tackling poverty and terror activities, as it will help to limit the financial support to these activities. Furthermore, the government is looking to reduce the cost of transactions and increase access to financial services, while keeping the economy secure. As such, the digital Naira is set to be rolled out in the coming months, with further regulations to be announced.