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Bank Customers in Nigeria, Others Will Struggle to Repay Loans—Moody’s

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

One of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria, First Bank, has given updates on how its customers can apply for foreign exchange (FX) “in line with regulatory requirements.”

In a notice obtained by Business Post, the lender said customers can secure $4,000 for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and $5,000 for Business Travel Allowance (BTA) to be disbursed directly to their First Bank Travel Card.

However, the bank emphasised that “all PTA/BTA applications along with the approved Form A are submitted at the branch exactly 14 days before your proposed travel date,” noting that sales are limited to two quarters a year.

This development has become necessary in Nigeria as a result of the scarcity of forex in the country. This has forced the banks to ration available FX to customers.

In the message sent via email, First Bank noted that for the application of hard currency for the payment of school fees abroad, customers must send the request at least 30 days before.

“For school fees, a minimum of 30 days is required for processing, after the submission of documents along with the approved Form A at the branch, subject to a maximum of $15,000 per semester and limited to two semesters per session,” the lender stated.

It added that application for upkeep requires a minimum of 30 days for processing subject to a maximum of $3,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester, limited to two semesters per session.

It stressed that the customer must present evidence of payment of the school fees for the current session if the school fee was not paid through First Bank.

The notice also disclosed that “a Form M must accompany applications for Form Q, subject to a maximum of $20,000 and limited to 2 quarters a financial year.

“Application for Form A for (school fees, student upkeep, PTA/BTA) must be processed on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Trade Monitoring System (TRMS) platform.”

The bank listed the requirements for FX purchase and processing school fees for the first degree and post-graduate programmes as:

Admission letter on the school letterhead

Invoice for the current semester on the school letterhead.

The beneficiary bank/account details in the name of the school/university

Duly completed Form A

Authority to debit customer/applicant account for Naira equivalent and charges

Biodata page of the International passport of the student

Additionally, a first-degree certificate is required for postgraduate programs.

Notification of result is acceptable only if it is duly endorsed as a ‘certified true copy’ by the institution that awarded it

The applicant should be a recognized parent or guardian of the student.

School fees and student upkeep is strictly for degree and postgraduate programs.

The school fees amount should be equal to or less than the amount on the invoice and not more than the amount on the invoice.

The maximum limit of $15,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester is no longer applicable. The amount on the invoice is the limit in line with recent CBN/ Bankers committee decisions.

The student upkeep/maintenance fee is a maximum of $3,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) and can be paid directly to the account in the name of the student abroad per semester if the school does not make provision for the collection of student upkeep on behalf of the student. This is in line with the recent CBN/ Bankers committee decision.

Requirements for processing PTA/BTA:

Biodata page of International Passport

Valid Visa Page

Duly confirmed return ticket with e-ticket number

Authority to debit account for naira equivalent and charges

Account must have been opened and run for at least 6 months

Complete a prepaid card request form where the customer does not have one

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