The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has unveiled a new foreign exchange (FX) regime for the retail segment of the market, whereby Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are to sell forex directly to Nigerians in banking halls, after the apex bank banned sale of forex to Bureau De Changes (BDCs) in the country.
There were about 5,689 BDCs in the country as at June 2021, who received an average of $20,000 weekly from the CBN equivalent to $113.7 million weekly or $5.9 billion per annum.
The CBN said these funds will now be made available to DMBs instead (which it can more easily monitor), to reduce instances of corruption and forex round tripping by the BDCs.
The apex bank has also directed banks in the country to set up teller points in their respective branches where they are to sell foreign exchange (FX) directly to retail end users.
The teller points are to be used to fulfill legitimate FX requests for Personal Travel Allowance, (PYA), Business Travel Allowance (BTA), tuition fees, medical payments, SME transactions amongst others, according to the CBN.
The CBN advised banks to ensure that no customer is turned back or refused FX provided that documentation and all other requirements are satisfied.
MoneyCentral investigation shows that a number of banks (including UBA and GTBank) have begun to roll out the new CBN directives providing FX to customer’s subject to the following rules and documentations:
- Customers must not have been paid a total of $4,000 or its equivalent within the quarter.
- PTA/BTA applicants must be above 18 years with a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN). They must provide a duly completed form A, a valid Nigerian passport with a valid Visa, an international return ticket with a travel date not more than 14 days from the date of PTA/BTA purchase.
- BTA purchase would require a Certificate of Incorporation/Registration and a Letter of Invitation from a Business Partner abroad.
- PTA/BTA is valid for journeys of 5 hours’ minimum flight time originating from Nigeria. Countries from within the West Africa region and Cameroon are exempted from PTA/BTA.
- For school fees, applicants should be self, or a parent, or a guardian with a valid BVN.
- Admission letter, payment invoice and a duly completed Form A and applicant’s Valid ID card are required for school fees.