The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has divulged that the decision of Deposit Money Banks to place a restriction on the use of Automated Teller Machine cards abroad on bank customers is due to scarcity of foreign exchange.
Speaking with pressmen in Abuja, the Director, Monetary Policy Department, CBN, Mr. Moses Tule, stated that the restriction might continue until the country could increase its foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “The limitation on the use of debit or credit cards outside the country was not a limitation that was placed by the CBN.
“They were restrictions that Deposit Money Banks placed because they have to settle whatever transactions you make with your debit cards with their corresponding banks in foreign currency.
And if the banks do not have the foreign currency to do that, then you create a liability problem for them.”
Speaking on the way forward, he said the priority of the CBN would be to use the foreign exchange to settle matured Letters of Credit that had been opened for importation of petroleum products and other raw materials.
“Given the level of current flow into the reserves, by the time we meet these priority areas, you will discover that people who are using their debit cards overseas for shopping can never be on the priority list,” he added.