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Nigerians Will Soon Face Restrictions on Cash Withdrawals

Nigerians will soon be unable to withdraw more than $44 daily from ATMs as the government attempts to mop up excess cash in circulation and increase the use of digital banking in Nigeria. The announcement of the policy, which comes into force on January 9, came a week after the government officially launched newly designed naira banknotes. Though experts say the policies make sense in theory, they warn that poor timing may decrease their effectiveness. Nigeria’s economy is still reeling from multiple shocks, including the devaluation of the naira and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Small-business owners are already bracing for a loss in revenue once the new laws come into full effect, with many relying heavily on cash-only sales. In an attempt to ease the transition, both the new and old notes are currently in circulation. However, locals say the new notes are still too scarce as the deadline approaches. DW was unable to find an example of a new naira note at multiple banks and ATMs in Lagos. Some business owners have also refused to accept the new notes from customers, claiming that the oversaturated design makes it too easy to counterfeit.