In order to relieve pressure on available foreign exchange, some banks have reduced the amount of dollar sales for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) to a maximum of $2,000 from $5,000 and reduced it to twice a year, Global Financial Digest reports.
Nigeria has consistently faced dollar shortages as the country has been unable to capitalize on higher crude oil prices in the international market due to a reduction in oil production output.
Oil theft and pipeline vandalism have impacted export capacity, with the country producing below its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota, depriving Nigeria of the required revenue from oil exports.
According to a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s external reserves position decreased by 1.34 percent at the end of October 2022, to $36.87 billion, from $37.39 billion at the end of September 2022.
Ecobank, for example, announced new measures on Wednesday that may require customers bidding for dollars for their children’s school fees, accommodations, and medicals to wait up to 10 weeks on the queue.
In a note to customers, the bank stated that beginning December 1, 2022, PTA processing will be limited to a maximum of $2,000 per quarter and twice a year (two times in alternate quarters).
The bank stated that PTA requests will be prioritized based on foreign exchange availability and that applications for upkeep allowances for student schooling have been put on hold temporarily.
“We would like to inform you of the changes we have made to the sale of foreign exchange in order to ensure equity and fair distribution of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), International School Fees, and Upkeep Allowance to our esteemed customers.
“Please be informed that effective December 1st, 2022, the following processes will apply until further notice:
“Processing of PTA will be limited to a maximum of US$2,000 per quarter and twice a year (two times in alternate quarters).
“Application received would be considered if the account is active and fully funded. PTA requests will be prioritized based on FX availability.
“Additionally, applications for school fees and accommodation will continue to be treated on a first-come, first-served basis with a wait time of approximately 10 weeks.
“In order to clear the backlog for school fees, the application for upkeep allowances is temporarily on hold.
“We appreciate your patronage and understanding while we look forward to a continued mutually beneficial banking relationship,” the bank wrote in a letter to its customers.
At the I&E foreign exchange market on Tuesday, the Naira depreciated by 0.03 percent as the dollar was quoted at N445.50 as against the last close of N445.38.