The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has reacted to the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on cash withdrawal limits saying the new policy will constrain business transactions.
This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mutjaba Abubakar.
According to Abubakar, the chamber is raising posers on the impact of the new policy on the cost of doing business and ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“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 stabilise the value of the 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,” he said.
Abubakar said that ACCI’s concerns stemmed from the disruption the new policy would have on many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in several big local markets.
He said that 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 from slowing down businesses within formal and informal markets, the new policy also has the tendency to increase the cost of doing business due to sanctions on withdrawal exceeding certain limits.
“The charges on excess withdrawal constitute a 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 policymakers to always engage the business sector on policies and programmes that will affect them.
“Such exchange will enable policymakers to consider the impact of proposed policies on businesses,” he said.
Abubakar said that any oversight in holding such consultation might result in policy decisions that further emasculate small businesses, thereby deepening the 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,” Abubakar said.