The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)has put a limit on the usage of the naira denominated debit cards for transactions abroad, from $150,000 per person annually, to $50,000 per person annually.
Daily cash withdrawal limit was also fixed at $300 per person. The policy will become effective from Monday 20th April, 2015.
This was contained In a circular tagged, “Usage of Naira Denominated Cards,”, signed by Olakanmi Gbadamosi the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the Apex bank and posted on its website.
“Further to the circular referenced No: TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/009 of September 26, 2013, all authorised dealers and the general public are hereby informed that with effect from the date of this circular, the existing limit on the usage of the naira denominated cards for transactions overseas has been reviewed downward.
“Accordingly, the limit has been reduced from $150,000 to $50,000 per person, per annum. In addition, the authorised dealers are to ensure that the daily cash withdrawal limit embedded in the cards per person, per day, is pegged at $300.
“Authorised dealers are to ensure strict compliance with the new limit and render monthly returns of the transactions to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, not later than the fifth day of the following month.”
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa added that, “We did find that in a number of cases people were using the cards in a manner that they were not expected to use them and there have been cases of arbitrage. 
So in order to sustain stability, what was agreed by the committee was that the limit for the use of the naira debit cards would be reduced.
“As a customer, if you have a dollar account, you will still have unfettered access to it, but for naira debit accounts, the limit would be reduced to a more judicious level.”
“This specifically refers to the use of these cards abroad because when they are used abroad, the merchants have to be settled. Even if it is at ATMs, the service provider, Visa or MasterCard, has to be settled in foreign currency and we find that it is a drain on the foreign resources available to FINANCE our industries.”