Curbs on use of Nigerian bank cards

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This picture taken on January 29, 2016 in Lagos shows 1000 naira banknotes, Nigeria's currency

Two leading Nigerian banks have banned customers from using their debit and credit cards abroad, as the country faces a shortage of foreign exchange.

Both First Bank and Guarantee Trust emailed customers informing them of the ban, but did not give reasons for the decision.

Access to foreign online retailers has also been significantly reduced for cardholders.

Similar measures were taken earlier this year by the central bank as part of the government’s effort to stem the flow of foreign exchange out of Nigeria.

The value of the country’s currency, the naira, has plunged because of the fall in the oil price – its main export.

Many wealthy Nigerians use their local cards for shopping and other transactions when abroad.

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

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