- By Charles McElhone
Nigeria’s central bank has ordered banks to stop customers from using their debt and credit cards abroad
One of the nation’s banks emailed it’s customers with the news, stressing it was a “temporary measure”
Access to foreign online retailers will also be affected when the ban takes effect on 1 January 2016.
It is part of the government’s effort to try to stem the flow of foreign exchange out of the country.
The unofficial value of the Nigerian currency, the naira, has plunged because of the fall in the oil price – its main export.
Africa’s largest economy has spent billions propping up the currency since it fixed the exchange rate in February and tightened trading rules to curb speculation.
It is not yet clear how many people will be affected by the latest measure but Nigeria enjoys wide spread international travel and international shopping. Some shops in London have signs in Hausa to cater for the large number of Nigerian customers. In June, the central bank banned businesses from accessing hard currency to import about 40 items. The list included Indian incense, plastic and rubber products, soap and private jets. The amount that Nigerians could spend on credit cards abroad has already been reduced by the banks.