Accessing foreign exchange for business or personal travel allowance, school fees or medical expenses as well as invisibles is something that should be done through appropriate channels by businessmen, travellers, parents and students alike.
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stopped selling foreign exchange to bureau de change operators and allows only commercial banks to provide foreign exchange to individuals requiring it.
Where To Get FX
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to adequately publicise the locations of the designated branches and make necessary arrangements to sell foreign exchange to customers in cash and/or electronically in compliance with extant regulations.
CBN also warned banks to ensure that “no customer is turned back or refused FX provided that documentation and other requirements are satisfied”. To this end, commercial banks in the country had began sensitisation of their customers wishing to access foreign exchange on how to get it.
How To Apply For FX
According to the group managing director Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe who also doubles as the chairman of Bank CEOs, commercial banks in the country would continue to exercise due diligence required with respect to know your customer (KYC) and compliance.
Bank customers can therefore walk into any branch of their respective banks and apply for foreign exchange for these purposes, albeit with the proper documentation.
Customers requiring forex for business or personal travel must have a clear intention and legitimate purpose to travel and are required to provide a valid Nigerian passport and a valid visa to an international destination.
The customer is also required to have a travel ticket which must be to an international destination outside of West Africa and Cameroun. An international return ticket, with a travel date not more than 14 days from the date of PTA/BTA purchase is also required.
Limits For FX Application
Requests for personal and business travel allowance can only be made one in a quarter. PTA and BTA requests are limited to a maximum of $4,000 and $5,000 per quarter per applicant respectively.
Customers are required to return purchased PTA/BTA to the bank within two weeks from the date of purchase if not utilised for the intended purpose or if for any reason the scheduled trip is cancelled. It must be noted that application on behalf of a third party is prohibited.
Forex for PTA/BTA will only be sold directly to applicants who shall be Nigerians who are 18 years and above and have a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Defaulters of this forex policy are bound to face sanctions which include being barred from accessing foreign exchange from the official forex market in the future, restrictions on their bank accounts for such periods as may be determined by the CBN as well as possible criminal prosecution.