How to Trade Dollars, other Foreign Exchange at Nigerian banks as CBN bans BDC

How to Trade Dollars, other Foreign Exchange at Nigerian banks as CBN bans BDC
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Following the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria to ban sales of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change operators, it has become important to learn how to Trade Dollars, other Foreign exchanges at Nigerian banks for personal and business use.


Recall that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced the ban on Bureau De Change operators in Nigeria as issuance of trading licenses became halted by the apex bank. Now, here is how to trade forex at the commercial banks in Nigeria, as they have taken charge of the process.

What the Banks are saying

Looking at the communiqué from two of the tier one commercial banks in Nigeria, according to Guarantee Trust Bank:

“Further to the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the sale of foreign exchange to all bank customers, this is to inform you that we have set up dedicated teller points at all our branches nationwide for your eligible foreign exchange needs.

“Kindly walk into any of our branches nationwide to buy your Personal Travel Allowance, Business Travel Allowance, pay your international school fees, foreign medical bills, SME Form Q transactions and every other qualifying foreign exchange transaction.

“We will treat your foreign exchange requests instantly. This means that you will get your FX the same day in cash and in the case of school fees and medical bills payment, to the stipulated beneficiary offshore. Please note that this is subject to you providing all the required documentation for these transactions.”

And according to First Bank,

Getting FOREX for school fees, medical bills, Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) is now as easy as A, B, C.”

How to Trade Dollars, other Foreign Exchange at Nigerian banks

Following the trend, below are the requirements to trade forex at Nigerian banks following the ban on BDCs in Nigeria.

Requirements for applying for PTA/BTA:

For GTbank:

  1. You should be 18 years and above, and have a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN)
  2. A valid Nigerian passport with a valid visa, and valid international return ticket with a travel date not more than 14 days from the date of PTA/BTA purchase.
  3. PTA request is limited to a maximum of $4,000 per quarter per applicant.
  4. A return ticket originating from Nigeria, with a minimum travel time of  5 hours to your destination.

For International School Fees Payment:

  1. Students can apply themselves, or through their parents, and guardians with valid BVN.
  2. Admission letter, payment invoice, First degree certificate (Only for Post graduate studies) and a duly completed Form A are required for school fees.

For First Bank:

  • Applicants must have valid BVN and be 18 years and above.
  • A duly filled Form A, a valid Nigerian Passport with valid Visa and a return ticket with a travel date not more than 14 days from date of PTA/BTA purchase.
  • Applicants are eligible for a total sum of $4000 for PTA and $5000 for BTA per quarter.
  • PTA/BTA is valid for travels originating from Nigeria with minimum flight time of 5hrs.
  • Countries within the West African Region and Cameroon are exempted from PTA/BTA
  • Travelers on the same trip or journey are not entitled to both PTA/BTA while on the same journey or with the same tickets

Additional requirements for BTA are:

  • Certificate of business registration/ incorporation
  • Letter of invitation from the overseas business partner stating the purpose and duration of the business trip.
  • Letter of request from the corporate body, addressed to the processing bank, stating the names of beneficiary staff and purpose of the visit.

You can see the list of designated centres to trade forex in First bank.

For other banks, please kindly get in touch with your account officers to learn how to trade dollars, other Foreign Exchange as regard their banking policy and rules. However, the CBN has directed all commercial banks to develop a mobile application that would make the process seamless for users in order to achieve a final takeover from the Bureau De Change operators.

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