For travellers, and for others seeking dollar to naira in exchange for one thing or the other, they are likely to experience stricter access to it considering the country’s external reserves that hit a seven-month low after falling to $38.57 billion as of May 25, 2022.
According to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on movement in external reserves, the reserves which had been fluctuating for weeks now, experienced its lowest of $39.01 billion and $38.39 billion on October 10 and 8, 2021 respectively.
However, as a result of the dollar to naira scarcity, banks are extending the waiting period to access forex for foreign trips, thereby denying travellers with urgent trips access to apply for Personal Travel Allowance or the Business Travel Allowance requests.
The banks have also been reducing the amount a customer can spend on the cards in dollar terms.
Explaining Ecobank Nigeria’s current stand on retail forex transactions for international school fees, accommodation and upkeep payments as well as PTA/BTA requests, the financial institution’s Head, Consumer Banking, Korede Demola-Adeniyi said, “Due to current market trends, we require a 30-day window to complete requests for school fees, accommodation, and upkeep.
According to him, part of the process involved a review of all documents to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
“In order to ensure smooth service and allow disbursement of PTA/BTA within the timeline, we request that applications are submitted with the required documentation,’ he added.
Like Ecobank, Access Bank stated: “All requests are reviewed to ensure that they meet regulatory requirements. In addition, due to limited forex availability provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria, we require a 30-day period to fulfill requests for school fees, upkeep, and rent payment.
“However, for PTA/BTA, we request that you submit your application 14 days before your proposed travel date to allow disbursement within the timeline.”