Forex liquidity: CBN orders 24hrs processing of PTA/BTA request

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

In line with its resolve to ensure adequate foreign exchange liquidity in the markets and for end-users, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the weekend directed banks and other authorised forex dealers to ensure they process and meet customers’ Personal Travel Allowance/Basic Travel Allowance (PTA/BTA) within 24 hours of such applications.
Banks are also to process and meet demands for school fees (including allowances) and medical bills within 48 hours of such applications.
The Director, Financial Markets Department of CBN, Dr Alvan Ikoku, who disclosed these in a circular issued in Abuja at the weekend also directed forex dealers to open teller points in all locations in order to ensure access to foreign exchange by their customers without any hindrance.
The circular also directed the authorised forex dealers to have electronic display boards in all their branches, showing rates of all traded currencies.
Ikoku, while urging banks and other forex dealers to comply with the directive, however warned that failure to do so would attract sanctions, “including but not limited to being barred from all future CBN foreign exchange interventions”, he said.
Also, the spokesman of CBN, Isaac Okorafor, has assured of the apex bank’s commitment to providing enough forex for legitimate businesses.
He thus urged Nigerians to resist any attempt by vested interests to subvert the current efforts by the CBN and the Federal Government to halt the depreciation of the naira and save Nigerians from further suffering.
“Nigerians, let us rise against those who want to sabotage the current efforts to save the naira by supporting the good decision the CBN has taken”, he said.

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