There are strong indications that the Nigeria currency or the country only known legal tender, Naira, may be further devalued at the beginning of next month, October, 2022, as FirstBank, one of Nigeria commercial banks, has come out openly to ban the use of naira accounts for international business transactions.
The ban may also make cost of living in Nigeria to become more worsen effect from next month.
FirstBank made known its intention to disable all naira cards or naira accounts from international transactions in a text message sent across to its customers few hours ago.
FirstBank in the circular text message indicated that only dollar accounts or domiciliary accounts with linked USD card or dollar ATM card can now perfect international business transactions in Nigeria.
“Effective 30 September 2022, your Naira card will no longer be enabled for international transactions. Kindly obtain a USD card at the nearest branch”, the FirstBank circular text message reads.
OsazuwaAkonedo had earlier in numbers of reports indicated that administrative decision from Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which thus appeared to have given commercial banks or money deposit banks in Nigeria free hands to decide the amount, Nigerians can transact internationally with their Naira accounts or Naira cards; is largely and mainly responsible for the free fall of Naira against dollar and other foreign currencies since 2015.
Soon after President Muhammadu Buhari came into power, the commercial banks placed embargo on the use of naira accounts or naira cards for international transactions. The banks fixed unified amount of $300 international transactions maximum per month for naira cards. Thus, this devalued the Naira and the Nigeria currency started trading at above 300 naira to a dollar.
In 2021, the commercial banks reduced the amount from $300 to $100 international transactions maximum per month for naira cards, causing the Naira to be extremely devalued, cost of living grew seriously worse. Naira started trading above 500 naira to a dollar.
Bad as it maybe, in January 2022, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, appeared to have given commercial banks absolute right to promote dollar or foreign currencies above the country legal tender, Naira.
This time, every commercial bank decided on their own, the amount of dollar, Nigeria naira account or card can transact internationally in a month.
Some commercial banks reduced the amount from $100 to $40, 20$, $10 international transactions maximum per month.
This made Naira to be currently trading above 700 naira to a dollar.
Many industries and companies have to reduce the quality of their products and increased the cost of purchase.
CBN and EFCC have given some reasons behind the continuous fall of the Naira to include NNPC non remittance, politicians stockpiling foreign currencies for elections purpose among others.
OsazuwaAkonedo believes the reasons given by CBN and EFCC are meant to distract the general public from knowing that the administrative decision of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari is largely and mainly responsible for the continuous free fall of the naira and it’s the cause of untold hardship in the country.
The action of commercial banks are directly pushing almost all the businessmen and women in Nigeria to black market to purchase dollars and then deposit such into their domiciliary accounts before they could be able to carry out international transactions.
This is why the demand for dollar and other foreign currencies in the black market is high. And Naira devalued. Inflation increasing.
We appeal to Federal Government to ban domiciliary account in Nigeria. And ensure, all international transactions are done with the country legal tender which is naira. No need to be in Nigeria and be looking for dollar to transact internationally. No body living in America is subjected to the high cost of looking for Naira before he or she can transact business internationally with Nigeria.
In this case, Nigeria is the enemy of itself.
Only few people are getting more richer with this CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari style of managing the Naira or seemingly deliberately devaluing the Naira.
We strongly believe that Domiciliary account bank product is a clock in the wheel of Nigeria economic progress. The product should be banned.