Nigeria dollar shortage has prompted some of the top banks to limit debit card spending abroad. Two Nigerian banks said the plans will help mitigate against foreign currency settlement risk.
Reuters reports that Stanbic IBTC Bank says that it will cap spending limit for offshore card transactions to $500 per month while cash withdrawals will be capped at $100. On the other hand, Zenith Bank announced the suspension of debit card use abroad for cash withdrawals albeit temporarily while capping monthly spending limit abroad to $200.
Other banks that have lowered the withdrawal limits for individual abroad include Ecobank and Fidelity Bank.
A sharp drop in oil prices and exports, which accounts for 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, has left Nigeria with a dollar shortage. The COVID19 pandemic has deteriorated the situation further due to restriction on international travel.
Central Bank of Nigeria devalued the official exchange rate in early July to 381 naira per dollar from 360. This has seen the Naira weaken on both the official and parallel black markets. For instance, on Monday in the official spot market, the naira exchanged at 389 per dollar while on the black market it exchanged at 472 per dollar.