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Currency Woes Nigeria bans credit card use outside the country

Banking sector players have predicted a dire consequence for online and eCommerce trade if the ban takes effect fro the 1st of January 2016.

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Nigeria's central bank has ordered commercial banks to stop customers from using their debit and credit cards abroad. This is according to reports from sources in Bank of Nigeria.

This has resulted in banks send customers notices of the directive, which is believed to be a rather temporary measure. The decision by Nigeria's Central Bank is part of a series of measures to address the decline of the country's local currency the Naira, by limiting flow of foreign exchange out of the country.

Banking sector players have predicted a dire consequence for online and eCommerce trade if the ban takes effect from the 1st of 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.

According to the BBC, Africa's largest economy has spent billions of dollars propping up the currency since it fixed the exchange rate in February and tightened trading rules to curb speculation.

It is not clear how many people will be affected by the latest measure but the BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi in the capital, Abuja, says wealthy Nigerians travel abroad regularly and use their local cards for shopping and other transactions.

Some top-end shops in London have signs in Hausa to cater for the large number of Nigerian customers.

One of the banks, Standard Chartered, has emailed its customers notifying them of the ban.

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