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The Director, Monetary Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Moses Tule, has been speaking on the recent restrictions on the use of naira debit cards and dollar transactions in the country.
At an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, Mr Tule said that naira debit cards can no longer be used outside the country due to the abuse it has suffered in the hands of some persons who use it to transfer foreign currencies illegally.
“As soon as we build up reserves up to $200 billion or more , we expect that just as the restrictions were not there initially, most of the restrictions will be lifted. But for now, every hand needs to be on deck; we need to earn foreign exchange as a country. You can improve your business processes in order to export and earn foreign exchange and that is what the country is calling on patriotic Nigerian businessmen to do.”
He said that the nation’s foreign reserves has been heavily depleted due to the fall in the price of oil and as such, the apex bank had to place some restrictions on the use of naira debit cards in addition to banning the use of the United States dollar as a substitute for the naira.
The naira hit an all time low two weeks ago when it traded for about N280 to the dollar shortly after banks informed depositors that they can no longer use their debit cards abroad. It however rose to N266 to the dollar by Wednesday after the CBN sold $10,000 each to about 2,000 bureau de change operators