OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the charges on bank transaction until investigation is conducted by the House.

The decision followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia)

While Mr. Kalu conceded that the policy would help develop the banking sector and drive”financial inclusion,” he posited its introduction was without inclusion.

According to him, “the Central Bank of Nigeria did not consider the people as prime, important and indeed the centre-piece of policy-making, even as Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Altered) provides for the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government.”

In explaining the motion, he said “the charges, which take effect from Wednesday will attract three per cent processing fees for withdrawals and two per cent processing fees for lodgements of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.

“For corporate accounts, the apex bank in the circular said that DMBs would charge five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and three per cent processing fee for lodgments of amounts above N3,000,000.”

While noting that “the pilot states of Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers States as well as the Federal Capital Territory has shown drastic decrease in money deposit,” he expressed worry that ” this overbearing burden aimed at closing down majority of micro, mini, small and medium businesses in Nigeria is also aimed at enriching Nigerian Money Deposit Banks owned by a privileged few, without any known financial contribution to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation.”

In his contribution, Uzoma Abonta (PDP, Abia) called for caution and asked the House to give the CBN three days to brief the lawmakers, a call that was rejected.

The House therefore mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to interface with the apex bank to ascertain the propriety, relevance and the actual need for the implementation of that aspect of the cashless policy at this time considering the prevailing economic situation of the country and to report back to the House within 4 weeks.

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