On the last day of this month, Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank Plc., will end the use of its naira Mastercard for international transactions
The new banking policy is partly in response to the decision of financial institutions to reduce the international spending limit on naira cards from $100 to $20 monthly.
The bank indicated in a statement that such transactions would not be available on its naira credit card, virtual card, and visa prepaid naira card.
“Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, you will no longer be able to use the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card, and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions. This will take effect on 30 September 2022,” First Bank said.
The development comes on the back of foreign exchange scarcity — affecting key sectors — which the country is currently battling.
On Tuesday, the naira dropped to N436 a dollar at the Investors and Exporters window and N712 at the parallel market.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had hinted that it would stop the sale of foreign exchange to banks by the end of the year.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said banks should generate FX proceeds from exporters to give their customers (importers).
“The era is coming to an end when, because your customers need $100 million in foreign exchange or $200 million, you now want to pack all the dollars and pass it to CBN to give you dollars,” he had said.
“It is coming to an end before or by the end of this year. We will tell them don’t come to the Central Bank for foreign exchange again go and generate their export proceeds.”