• Nigeria introduced a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira, into its financial system in late 2021.
• The Nigerian government has put restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn, limiting it to about $225 per week with a daily limit of about $45.
• These regulations are mostly about pushing a cashless policy in which the government has complete control over all citizens’ finances.
Nigeria Introduces CBDC
In late 2021, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, introduced a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, into its financial system in an attempt to drive consumers toward alternative options.
Limitations on Cash Withdrawals
The Nigerian government has now put restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks at any given time. This limit is set at about $225 per week and $45 daily for individuals.
Government Control Over Citizens’ Finances
These regulations have been met with criticism from Nigerians as they understand that these policies are mostly about financial control and pushing citizens into a cashless Keynesian economy where the government has complete control over their finances.
Central Bank Governor’s Response
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria believes that these policies will ensure more people in the country are financially included and keep up with where global money is moving towards. However, many Nigerians feel this is not what is happening as they are gradually being “un-banked”.
The introduction of CBDCs and limitations on cash withdrawals in Nigeria further demonstrate how much control governments seek to have over their citizens’ finances. As such, it is important for citizens to be aware of their rights and take action when necessary for them to be able to maintain full control over their own money.