Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has reacted cautiously to the recent new policy on cash withdrawal limits announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, raising posers on impact on cost of doing business and ease of doing business.
“We have perused the policy guidelines and we first commend the CBN for constantly innovating to address the fiscal and monetary challenges facing the country. We note the intention of the apex bank, which is the urgent need to address growing inflationary pressure and stabilize the value of Naira.”
As commendable as this policy is, we are worried about the timing of the announcement that coincides with the ongoing plan to phase out old naira notes. Our concerns stem from the disruption the new policy will have on many SMEs in several big local markets. The limitation on withdrawal will constrain business transactions especially as most businessmen rely on such withdrawal for quick business engagement from one market to the other.
Aside slowing down businesses within formal and the informal markets, the new policy also has tendency to increase cost of doing business due to sanction on withdrawal exceeding certain limits. The charges on excess withdrawal constitute new form of levy, which adds to the long list of levies on the SMEs and the informal business operators.
The ACCI wishes to again draw the attention of the Apex bank and other levels of government to the fact that small businesses in Nigeria are dying on a very alarming percentage. We solicit the understanding of policy makers to always engage the business sector on policies and programme that would affect them
Such exchange will enable policy makers to consider impact of proposed policies on businesses. Any oversight in holding such consultation may result in policy decisions that further emasculate small businesses, thereby deepening economic challenges facing the nation.
On the implementation timeline of the new policy, we urge the Apex bank to allow more time for the commencement of this policy so that businesses have enough time to make the necessary adjustments
Dr Al-Mutjaba Abubakar, (FCA, MFR)