Commercial banks finally put an end to a method Nigerians and black market traders get cheap dollars

  • Commercial banks have finally shut down the only indirect route through which black market traders get cheap dollars
  • The huge discrepancy between the black market and official rates has created a market in which some Nigerians misrepresent travel in order to access cheap dollars.
  • Dollars obtained from banks are then resold on the black market for millions of dollars in profit

Customers of Nigerian banks have been advised that they will no longer receive cash dollars for their Personal Travel Allowances (PTAs) and Business Travel Allowances (BTAs).

Requests will now be met using a dollar travel card that can only be used overseas.

Banks hope the new measure will shut down the channels through which black market traders obtain cheap dollars to resell to Nigerians at a difference of N200.

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Banks will stop disbursements in dollars
A customer supported by a bank representative Credit: Pius Etim
Source: Getty Images

Buy cheap, earn millions fast

The large difference between the black market and official rates for dollars has created a new economy for some unscrupulous Nigerians who have used a fake visa to obtain dollars at the official rate of N430.

According CBN, a visa allows a Nigerian to purchase PTAs and BTAs worth up to $5,000. If successful, the dollars are now resold on the black market for over N650, and millions are earned within minutes.

Several names and bank verification numbers (BVN) have been published by the banks involved in this act, which detailed in a recent report.

Due to the actions of these unscrupulous Nigerians, massive demands for dollars have been created, preventing many Nigerians who genuinely wish to travel from doing so and causing stress in obtaining the required currencies at the official rate.

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This day reports that Access Bank and FirstBank were the first two commercial banks to notify their customers of the changes.

In addition to the two banks making a formal announcement to their customers, other banks, another Nation report shows others had silently begun card disbursement for customers who already had existing travel cards without making of declaration.

First Bank

FirstBank in a statement to its customers said:

“Your FirstBank Travel Card will now receive the full Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) of $4,000 and $5,000, respectively.” “All applications will meet regulatory requirements.

Please ensure that all PTA/BTA applications, along with the approved Form A, are submitted to the branch 14 days prior to your proposed travel date. Sales are limited to two quarters per year.”

Access bank

For its part, the Access bank stated that:

“We would like to inform you that we process authorized personal and business travel claims using our Access Travel debit card. The Access Travel debit card was designed to allow you to transact seamlessly when traveling abroad.”

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Leadership report noted that with this process customers can get instant issuance for PTA/BTA applications, easy access to international transactions via online, POS and ATM and the card is valid for 3 years and usable for PTA applications /BTA current and future during its validity.

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