• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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CBN restricts BTA, PTA payments via electronic channels only

CBN bans street trading as nairs falls under fresh pressure

…pegs price deviation for exports, imports at -15%, +15% of global average prices

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restricted the payment of Personal and Business Travel, allowances (PTA/BTA) through electronic channels only, as it intensifies efforts at driving transparency and sanitising foreign exchange dealings in the country.

The new directive which follows a series of such in recent times, was contained in a circular issued to all authorised banks by the CBN.

Read also: CBN stops cash dollar for personal, business travel allowance

“In line with the bank’s commitment to ensure transparency and stability in the foreign exchange market and avoid foreign exchange malpractices, all Authorized Dealer Banks shall henceforth effect payout of PTA/BTA through electronic channels only, including debit or credit cards.

“For the avoidance of doubt, payment of PTA/BTA by cash is no longer permitted.

“Authorised dealers and the general public are hereby to note and comply accordingly,” the circular signed by Hassan Mahmud, director, trade and exchange department at the CBN.

In the circular, the CBN further recalled Memorandum 8 of the Foreign Exchange manual and the circular with reference FMD/DIR/CIR/GEN/08/003 dated February 20, 2017, which stipulates the eligibility criteria for accessing Personal and Business Travel, allowances (PTA/BTA).

In another circular equally signed by Mahmud, the CBN announced that it has reviewed the allowable limit of price deviation for exports and imports to -15 percent and +15 percent of the global average prices, respectively.

The new review was in consideration of global inflation and other related challenges.

The CBN had in an earlier circular referenced TED/FEM/FPO/PUB/O1/001, and following the implementation of the Price Verification System (PVS) aimed at curbing over-invoicing of imports and under-invoicing of exports, declared that prices of import items that are more than 2.5 percent above the global average prices of the referenced item will be queried.

Read also: CBN bars IOCs from 100% remittance abroad as naira’s slide bites

“However, due to global inflation and other related challenges, the CBN has reviewed the allowable limit of price deviation for exports and imports to -15 percent and +15 percent of the global average prices, respectively. Authorised dealer banks and the general public are hereby advised to note and comply accordingly,” it stated.

For further clarification, the apex bank noted that PVS was not meant to determine the actual prices of items for tariffs or duty charged by the government but rather to enable the CBN to curtail the excess outflow of the limited foreign exchange through over-invoicing and other price manipulation activities.