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The Central Bank of Nigeria announced it will begin, effective in January, restricting cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs to just $45 per day as part of a push to move the country toward a cashless economy.
If this were a one-off, I wouldn’t bother writing about it. But it comes on the heels of mega-banks announcing similarly creepy new policies in recent months in China, India, Russia, Brazil, Sweden, the U.S. and many other nations, all pointing to an imminent switch over to a global digital money system.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve put out an announcement in November that it is launching a 12-week “pilot program” to test out a new central bank digital currency, or CBDC, with six major banks.
Thursday’s announcement in Nigeria is also a big deal because Nigeria is one of only nine countries that have already launched an official CBDC. That happened earlier this year, and now they are already moving to restrict the use of cash. This proves that digital currencies were never designed to function alongside paper currencies but rather to replace them.
Fox News reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria will limit weekly cash withdrawals to 100,000 naira ($225) for individuals and 500,000 naira ($1,124) for corporations, with a processing fee required to access more. Haruna Mustafa, the central bank’s director of banking supervision, said cash withdrawals may be permitted in “compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month.”
Isn’t that nice of him?
It’s almost that bad here in the U.S. Try going to your bank and telling them you want to withdraw as little as $5,000 and you will discover that you are required to basically state your case and prove you also have a legitimate “compelling” reason for wanting that much cash.
Of course it’s all for our own good, right? “Safety and security,” they tell us.
Policymakers in Nigeria say the limits on cash withdrawals along with the country’s new digital currency will “bring more people into the banking system and curb currency hoarding, illicit flows, and inflation,” according to Fox News.