CBN Directs Banks to Tighten Forex Rules on Travel Allowance
By Bashir Olanrewaju
The Central Bank of Nigeria directed banks to tighten rules for dispensing foreign exchange for business or personal travel to ensure that only genuine travelers are getting access to funds.
Banks were specifically asked to guard against “unethical practices” that may include “the presentation of false travel documents, visas and cancellation of flight tickets” by people who are only keen on the arbitrage between the official and parallel market rates.
Customers who fail to refund funds obtained within two weeks after canceling travel tickets, will have their identities published in the media, the CBN directed. “Such clients may also be liable to criminal prosecution beyond having their names published,” one of Nigeria’s top banks said in a note to clients on Wednesday.
A shortage of foreign currency in Nigeria on account of lower oil earnings has put pressure on the exchange rate of the naira, which has seen it lose more than 20 percent of its value in the parallel market since the start of this year.