Following the decision made at the Bankers’ Committee meeting two weeks ago, the CBN limitation on Naira debit card for overseas transactions has taken effect. For overseas transactions the limit is $50,000 per person per annum. The apex bank also reduced the limit for daily withdrawal to $300 per day from $1,200 per day. The reduction is on Naira denominated MasterCard or Visa Card, linked to bank accounts in Nigeria.
However, bank customers have expressed varying reactions to the development. According to a report in Vanguard, some customers who spoke on the policy criticized it, saying it would hurt their businesses.
Mr. Chiedu Igwe, an importer said, “The idea of reducing the debit card limit to $50,000 per person per annum is discomforting. I travel out often to get items for my trade and that aside; I spend money on vacations using a Naira debit card. So with this new limit on debit card, how am I going to keep up with my business and personal foreign exchange needs while I am overseas? I wish the implementation of the policy could be re-adjusted if possible to help businessmen like me.
Another businessman, “Mr. Lekan of LakeSide Clothing said, “I am not comfortable with the reduction, because I travel overseas to purchase most of what I sell in my stores. I make use of my debit card for shopping whenever I travel abroad, and I travel more than once in a year. So this new limit will disrupt my business plans.”
On the contrary, veteran producer, director and actor, Prince Jide Kosoko commended the reduction, saying it would help curb the outrageous spending of many Nigerians. He said, “CBN has brought up the policy to redeem the value of the Naira. I know this will not go well with some Nigerians but the CBN has the power to do it. Many Nigerians travel abroad and spend their annual savings within one month in the name of holidays”.
The move to reduce the limit was because people were using the cards in the manner they were not expected to use them. According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Union Bank Mr. Emeka Emuwa, at the post Bankers Committee press briefing said, “There were some arbitrage going on, and in order to continue to support the stability in the foreign exchange market. So it was agreed at the committee that the limit would be reduced for the use of the naira debit cards. You will still have, as a customer, unfettered access to your dollar account (cards) but the naira cards the limit will be reduced to a judicious level.”
Source: Vanguard News
Follow us @sabinewsnaija