Dollar shortage: Banks slash travel allowance, foreign school fees


Deposit Money Banks have slashed the amount of Personal Travel Allowance and schools fees their customers can apply for amid a worsening foreign exchange crisis.

Shortage of FX in the country has forced lenders to take drastic measures to meet their dollar obligations in recent times.

In an emailed letter to customers, some DMBs on Tuesday slashed the amount of PTA their customers can apply for from $4,000 to $2,000.

Also, lenders cut overseas school fees payment from $15,000 to $7,500 per semester.

One of the lenders, First Bank of Nigeria Limited advised its customers to also make their various FX requests several weeks ahead of time.

The bulk email by the lender was titled, ‘Important update on FX purchase.’

The bank also stated that the requests could be made only twice in a year.

It advised the customers to make their application weeks ahead of their trip.

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The mail read in part, “At FirstBank, we value you and are committed to keeping you informed on changes regarding foreign currency (Form A) requests. In view of the limited FX supply in the industry, kindly note the following:

“Payment of PTA/BTA is subject to a maximum of $2,000 and two quarters in a year, while funds will be disbursed within the week of the trip. Customers are encouraged to apply for PTA/BTA some weeks ahead of their trip.”

It added that, “Application for upkeep is subject to a maximum of $1,500 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester and limited to two 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 two semesters per session. A minimum of 16 weeks is required for processing school fees and upkeep/maintenance, after the submission of documents along with the approved Form A at the branch.”

According to the email, application for Form A for school fees, student upkeep and PTA/BTA, must be processed on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Trade Monitoring System and must be in line with regulatory requirements.

It added, “Requests will continue to be treated on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability of FX. Ensure that your account is sufficiently funded.”

Economic and financial analysts have advised the CBN to devalue the local currency with a view to bridging the gap between the official and parallel market rate of the naira. ,

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