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Students Abroad Cry Out: Nigerian Banks Charging Black Market Rate

Nigerian students across the world have accused the country’s banks of charging black market rates when they withdraw their money from foreign Automated Teller Machines, ATMs. Breaking the ice, Dr. Ameen Indabawa, a student in Ukraine in a youtube video that has gone viral and shared thousands of times, showed how his Nigerian bank took more than N150 extra, equivalent of what he said sells at the black market in Ukraine. In a step by step videoing, Indabawa lamented how several of his colleagues are being ripped off and running low on cash due to the underhand practices of the banks, appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria to halt the “daylight robbery.” Offering some form of advice, Obi Nzewi, said foreign students should desist from using their cards abroad, rather should apply to the CBN for forex for their upkeep. Nzewi said, “Clearly few in this thread understand how international card transactions are settled. Let me inform the young man in the video that he must not use his card abroad. He can fill out CBN Form A to apply for forex for his upkeep in Ukraine.” Speaking of her own predicament, Tonia Emelu, claimed that she has tried using Western Union but was told it is suspended for now in sending money out of the country. “The funniest part now is that you try to use Western Union and they tell you it’s banned for now…I can’t even deal,” she wrote. Another Nigerian in Ghana, Abdul Rich Noni, said, “same thing happens here in Ghana,” while Joe Derin Adebisi based in Germany, lamented that “same thing happened to me in Germany last month. 1€ is 315 naira.” Ikemefuna Afreeca, who did not specify where he was writing from stated: “Please write to the regulatory bodies like CBN to address these issues. It is probable you all might be due a refund. If they don’t respond you can complain to the African union because it sounds like extortion.” Offering his own piece of advice, Benjamin Akpan argued that “you cannot buy at CBN rate, Nigerians you buy at parallel rate outside.” Yewande Adebisi Ogunsanwo recounting her experience said those who think they can get it at the official rate abroad to resell at the black market are mistaken. Hear her: “For people that think we want to sell it on black market, the same thing happened when I used my card in New Look Store. I was charged at black market rate. I understand cashing out, how about buying online and in stores. Will I sell the clothes in exchange for naira on black market? It is unfair. Let’s be sincere. The banks are fraudulent.” The apex bank has continued to insist that forex is available at official rate of N190 – N200 for those with legitimate demands, a position not in sync with what students abroad are faced with.


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