Amid protests and vandalisation of financial institutions across states over the scarcity of new naira notes, the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), has advised its citizens to take precautions when visiting banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) .
In its updated advisory on the naira scarcity posted on its website, the UK FCDO, said: “Nigeria is mainly a cash economy, although the use of credit and debit cards is increasing – especially in the big cities. If you intend to use cash, make sure you bring enough foreign currency to cover costs. It is illegal to change money on the street and travellers cheques are difficult to cash.
“Credit card fraud is common, so take care if using your card. You should take advice from your card issuer before travelling if you intend to use your credit or debit card in Nigeria.
READ ALSO: Wike knocks Buhari for lifting restriction on old N200 notes
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed the redesign and issue of new N200, N500, and N1’000 naira notes. This has led to shortages of cash, which are likely to persist for a period.
“You are encouraged to check notes provided by currency exchange vendors will be valid for the duration of your travel to Nigeria, and to follow local CBN guidelines.
“Areas such as banks and ATMs have seen a spike in criminal activity, and as such, it is advised that you take extra precautions particularly when withdrawing cash in crowded spaces, and during night time hours.
“There have been outbreaks of violence in southwest Nigeria as a result of cash shortages, and there is a risk of other urban areas being impacted across the country.”
Therefore, the UK government further urged travellers in Nigeria to “exercise their judgement, including being aware of any large crowds or potential disturbances.”