dollar scarcity nigeria

How To Buy PTA And BTA From Nigerian Banks; Requirements And Application Portal

Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN announced that it is stopping the sale of forex to Bureau De Change operators in the country in an attempt to save the country’s failing currency. This meant that access to forex become more difficult and Nigerians had to source for their own forex when ever they require it.

Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) were later introduced by the CBN to mitigate the huge difference between the official exchange rate and the black market rate. Tho the CBN has outlawed bureau de change operators and claimed the represent a small percentage of the country’s forex market, they continue to operate in the black market and set their own rules.

 

How much is PTA/BTA in Nigerian banks today?

 

Nigerians who do not wish to go through official channels to buy forex can get it from bureau de change operators on the black market, at around N580/$ compared to the CBN rate of around N417/$.

PTA is the travel allowance each individual Nigerian is entitled to on every foreign travel at the CBN rate. The amount is capped at $4000 or its equivalent for every Nigerian traveler to pay for school fees, medical bills or for tourism. BTA on the other hand is available to business people and it is capped at $5000 or its equivalent on each travel.

The CBN sets the official exchange rate and the daily fluctuations can be monitored via its website.

CBN Rules and Requirements for PTA/BTA:

 

  1. The PTA and BTA are available to only Nigerians.
  2. The applicant must be 18+
  3. The destination country must be at least 5 hrs+ away by air.
  4. Flight must be a return ticket
  5. Where the applicant did not travel, PTA/BTA bought must be returned to the bank by the within 2 weeks of purchase
  6. When tickets scheduled date is changed, the applicant is required to update that information with the bank as well
  7. The flight ticket must originate from Nigeria.
  8. Travel date must be within the next 2 weeks.
  9. The limit for PTA is $4,000 per quarter (3 months).
  10. The limit for BTA is $5,000 per quarter (3 months).
  11. Your passport must be stamped after each purchase.
  12. Not to be sold to travelers visiting blacklisted countries.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Apply for PTA/BTA in any Nigerian Bank

 

  1. Fund your bank account with the Naira equivalent of the amount you need.
  2. Visit the CBN’s Trade Monitoring System Portal
  3. Register with your BVN (individual) or TIN (organization)
  4. An OTP will be sent to your registered email.
  5. Verify your email
  6. Login and fill the necessary fields
  7. Upload your data page, visa page, and flight ticket only
  8. Choose your preferred bank and branch
  9. Submit
  10. Go to the chosen bank branch with your original international passport to collect the cash

**The bank will start processing your request immediately. My advice is to visit the bank you chose. On approval, present your international passport for stamping and collect your cash!

Requirement for Students to Apply for PTA in any Bank

Nigerian Students who are going to study abroad and wish to access the $4000 PTA offered by the CBN must provide the following;

  1. International passport that also has the student visa page in it
  2. Provisional admission letter
  3. Return flight ticket

Requirement for other Nigerian travelers to access the $4000 PTA

 

  1. The applicant’s valid and current international passport.
  2. The maximum amount for PTA is $4,000 per quarter.
  3. A valid visa.
  4. Confirmation of a return flight ticket originating from Nigeria (Must be a return ticket and within the next two weeks).
  5. Unencumbered credit balance/cash of the equivalent amount being sold

Requirements for BTA Business Travelers (max. $5,000):

  1. The applicant’s valid and current international passport of the director or staff of the company.
  2. An introduction letter from the company stating purpose of travel.
  3. The maximum amount for BTA is $5,000 per quarter and per head.
  4. Letter of invitation from the overseas business partners.
  5. Copies of CAC documentation.
  6. A valid visa.
  7. Confirmation of a return flight ticket originating from Nigeria (Must be a return ticket and within the next two weeks).
  8. Unencumbered credit balance/cash of the equivalent amount being sold.

There are Nigerians who seek to circumvent these requirements mostly by presenting fake visas at the bank just to access forex at the official rate and then sell it on the black market for profit, this is an offense that can earn the defaulter a BVN blacklist and/or jail term.

Also, there has been some uncertainty surrounding FX availability in some banks. This has made many banks resort to devising ‘Sale days’ and ‘Non-Sale days’ to aggregate all their requests and process within a devised short window.

As a Nigerian, you are legally entitled to the PTA and BTA for every foreign travel you go on, as long as you are not on the BVN blacklist.

Frequently asked questions

What is PTA and BTA money?

PTA stands for Personal Travel Allowance and BTA stands for business travel allowance. It is a scheme introduced by the CBN to sell dollars and other forex directly to Nigerians after the apex bank has stopped selling to bureau de change operators. Each Nigerian citizen is entitled to a maximum of $5000 as PTA and a maximum of $10,000 as BTA not more than once every three months.

What is E Form A?

Form A application can be used by organizations or individual Nigerians when they require foreign exchange to pay for services outside Nigeria. Some of the services Form A can be used for include;

Business Travel Allowance (BTA)
Personal Travel Allowance (PTA)
Educational Fees
Payment for Health services
Estacodes
Remittances & Non-Remittance
Others

How do I register and apply for E Form A?

Form A registration and application is available on the Trade Monitoring System portal managed by the CBN. Eligible individuals and organizations can log on to the portal with their necessary details to get started. form A application and registration portal

How can I apply for PTA online?

PTA and BTA registration and application is available on the Trade Monitoring System portal managed by the CBN. Eligible individuals and organizations can log on to the portal with their necessary details to get started.

How long does it take for Form A to be approved?

If you fill your application form correctly and attach all the required documents, your Form A should be approved within 1-5 business days.

How do I find my PTA tracking ID?

Your PTA tracking ID also known as your registration number will be sent to your email along side other details after successful registration is confirmed.PTA tracking id

How do I get PTA approval?

To get PTA approval you have to complete a Form A by going through 5 sets of screens and providing information where required.

Applicant Information (tax identification number TIN for organizations or BVN for individuals).
Trade Services (here you provide travel information and other details).
Bank Details (here you provide your payment mode and processing bank branch)
Attachments (here you upload required documents as necessary).
Preview Form (This section of the application is where the applicant can either Save a form, which can be submitted later or Submit a form).

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