How Nigerians Get Along With Commercial Banks In The New Dollar Racket Via Preferential Trade Agreements

  • Nigerians Have a New Way to Trade Forex and Earn Millions of Dollars, Survey Says
  • The new scheme that has seen Nigerians rush to open dollar or home accounts involves people getting dollars through commercial banks
  • Nigerians living abroad use the scheme to obtain PTAs under the guise of traveling abroad and use it to obtain foreign currency

Justine Oyewole has lived in Dubai for four years and has not been to Nigeria since leaving in March 2018.

Oyewole said he traveled to Dubai on a tourist visa, which has expired, and remained largely in hiding for fear of deportation.

Nigerians plan with banks to trade forex Credit: Prostock-Studio
Source: Getty Images

Working in a ceramics company in Dubai and practically living at his workplace, Oyewole was able to sponsor three of his siblings into the country, with one caveat.

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He told this reporter that he plans to send as many as possible to the UAE under a special deal to source dollars from commercial banks in Nigeria via Personal Travel Allowances (PTA ).

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‘Trader’ recounts his experiences

“For everyone, I bring, I have a cut from his PTA, and they usually go back to Nigeria after two to three months and come back with another PTA, which I also get another set of cuts” , Oyewole said.

Oyewole said travelers could come to Dubai with up to $4,000 as a PTA, and he would get around 30% from them.

He told that he knew someone who had more than 10 people traveling to and from Dubai and received a share of their PTAs each time.

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The Oyewole scheme is a new racket in town that involves most commercial banks in Nigeria colluding with clients to obtain bogus preferential trade deals as a means of exchanging scarce foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar .

The new trend sees Nigerians residing abroad, especially in the UAE or Dubai, using their connections or friends to obtain questionable PTAs, all for the purpose of trading in illicit currencies.

The connection of commercial banks

Those residing abroad bear most of the travel costs and facilitate obtaining foreign exchange from some commercial banks in Nigeria, which Oyewole says also get “something” from the deal.

This trend has created a mad rush by Nigerians to open dollar accounts in most commercial banks, especially as the local currency, the naira, has fallen to an all-time low of 698 naira to the dollar in the market. parallel.

For those who have dollar accounts but don’t travel, their accounts are mostly used to pay in dollars, and they also get a discount, all facilitated by bank clerks who are in cahoots.

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New program brings in cool millions

At the Commonwealth Games recently held in Birmingham, a Nigerian delegate told anonymously that he saw many Nigerians in the UK who told him that the PTA racket was a new way to win. extra money.

According to him, they get their supplies of dollars from operators of exchange offices or commercial banks and travel abroad. Then when they go back to Nigeria and change the money, he runs into millions of naira. And they can make three to four trips a year.

Commercial banks in Nigeria have been hit by the shortage of foreign exchange causing customers to scramble to secure funds which is negatively impacting other sectors like manufacturing.

Oyewole said there would be more forex rush as schools are set to resume and parents and guardians send their children back to overseas schools.

Commercial banks in Nigeria groan about Forex scarcity as diaspora remittances hit $60.2 billion in three years

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Visits to some commercial banks in Lagos State show that most of them are running out of US greenbacks and giving excuses to their customers.


About Ruben V. Albin

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