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Banks Make Adjustments on PTA/BTA Requests as Foreign Reserves Shrink

Customers of Nigerian banks have been notified that the 48-hour processing time for receiving foreign currency for overseas school fees may be extended to 120 days.

The personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA) amounts were also decreased by the banks, going from $4,000 and $5,000 to $2,000 and about 50 and 60 percent, respectively.

A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) application form known as Form A is used to make payments for service transactions (also known as invisible commerce), such as overseas school fees, training programs, and medical expenses.

The form can be used by Nigerian students studying abroad to receive foreign currency at the official rate as opposed to the parallel market, which is always much higher.

Recall how Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), attributed the depletion of foreign reserves to the high number of Nigerian students enrolling in overseas universities.

Figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria show that in 2022, Nigeria’s foreign reserves decreased by $3.43 billion.

The CBN stated that the external reserves was at $40.52 billion at the end of December 31, 2021, and ended December 29, 2022, at $37.09 billion.

 “Application for upkeep is subject to a maximum of $1,500 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester and limited to 2 semesters per session. “Payment of school fees is subject to a maximum of $7,500 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester and limited to 2 semesters per session.

First Bank

First Bank told its clients that, subject to FX availability, requests for foreign exchange will still be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Payment of PTA/BTA shall be made within a week of the trip and is limited to a maximum of $2,000 and two quarters per year. Consumers are asked to submit their PTA/BTA applications a few weeks before their travel, according to the notice.

“School fees and upkeep/maintenance must be processed within a minimum of 16 weeks of the paperwork being submitted at the branch with the approved Form A.”

Applications for Form A for school fees, student maintenance, and PTA/BTA must be handled on the Trade Monitoring System (TRMS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria and must comply with all legal criteria.

Access Bank

Access Bank sent an email to its clients informing them of the adjustments.

“PTA and BTA requests that are made within 14 days of the intended travel date are currently only processed twice per applicant annually at a cost of $2,000 each application. “All applications are processed and disbursed subject to FX availability of proper documentation, provided the account to be debited is sufficiently funded to cover the Form A charge and other processing fees,” states the policy. “International school fees and upkeep requests are processed within 120 days of approval.”

 As any request not supported by an adequately funded account or the necessary documentation will be refused and treated as a new request upon re-submission, please make sure your account is properly funded to handle the value of the transaction and charges at the time of processing. Through the Trade Monitoring System portal, updates on pending Form A requests that have been accepted or rejected are appropriately displayed and available.

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