The scarcity of the United States dollar at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate has seen some travellers stranded.
Nigerians planning to travel abroad are experiencing delays in accessing Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and monies to pay for medicals and others.
An investigation carried out by Daily Trust shows that it is extremely difficult to access the dollar because the demand far outweighs supply, forcing some banks to extend the request period for PTA/BTA from two weeks to eight weeks.
But other sources said the CBN had tightened the processes of getting the dollar because some unpatriotic Nigerians have been abusing the process.
A source said investigations by the apex bank showed that many people had no plan to travel anywhere or to remit money abroad for legitimate purposes but yet forge papers and apply for the foreign currency only for them to hoard it or sell it at the parallel market.
Recall that the CBN had deployed an electronic Form ‘A’ to expedite applications for PTA/BTA, medicals, education and other remittances.
The CBN assured Nigerians that all legitimate requests for foreign currency for eligible transactions would be fully met at the official exchange rate.
However, Stanbic IBTC Bank recently sent a message to its customers stating that it requires six to eight weeks before it can process the request for dollars.
The message read: “To serve you better, please be informed that we now require six to eight weeks to process your FX needs for international school fees, upkeep and medical payments. This will enable us to review your requests in line with regulatory requirements and ensure that we can source for FX to fulfil them.”