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Government Payments beyond Daily Cash Limit to be done Electronically from 1st March.

Date:

The Federal Government has served a notice to the three tiers of Government that all payments from the Public Treasury beyond the threshold approved for daily cash limit by the Central Bank of Nigeria must be done electronically with effect from March 1, 2023.

Director of NFIU and Chief Executive Officer, Modibo Hamman Tukur, who made the pronouncements at a briefing in Abuja, warned that with the publication of the new guidelines, cash withdrawals from public accounts had been prohibited by the requirement of the laws under reference.

The NFIU boss also added that payment of estacodes and overseas allowances to civil and public servants in cash had also been outlawed.

Consequently, he said all financial institutions have been instructed to stop cash withdrawals from government accounts from the given date, stressing that defaulters will be prosecuted alongside their accomplices.

“The rate of withdrawals above the threshold from public accounts has been alarming, over N701 billion has been withdrawn in cash from 2015 till date,” he said. 

“The NFIU had told banks and government agencies at all levels to go fully digital by moving online, as all transactions involving public money must be routed through the banks for the purpose of accountability and transparency.

“This is not reversible as we are only enforcing the law. As far as we are concerned, Nigeria will become a full non-cash economy by March 1, 2023 this year. 

He warned that any public office at the federal, state and local government levels, who flout the new cash policy, would face the full weight of the law, irrespective of his/her position.

“As a consequence, any government official that withdraws even one naira cash from any public account from March 1 will be investigated and prosecuted in collaboration with relevant agencies like EFCC, ICPC and the NPF.

“For government exigencies, only the President has the power to grant any waiver to any government official considering the importance of the situation; either for national security, health, or other important reasons.”

Meanwhile, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has warned that Public Servants, including Governors, would be committed to prison in accordance with extant laws if they make withdrawals above the threshold set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 1st march 2023.

NFIU’s Director and Chief Executive Officer, Modibbo Haman Tukur, who addressed a media briefing in Abuja, said defaulters risk a three-year jail term, explaining that under the guidelines, only the president could grant a waiver.

NFIU announced that effective 1st march, all government monetary dealings would be facilitated via electronic transfer if the amount exceeds the approved daily withdrawal in line with the apex bank’s new monetary policy.

The body warned that defaulters risks combined investigation by NFIU, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

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