MARKET UPDATE
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TheCable

Naira depreciates as banks shift BTA/PTA rates to N419 per dollar

Naira depreciates as banks shift BTA/PTA rates to N419 per dollar
January 19
19:33 2022

The value of the Nigerian naira depreciated by 1.5 percent as banks shifted personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA) rates from N413 to N419 per dollar.

PTA and BTA are currency exchange schemes specifically set up for Nigerians travelling abroad for personal or business reasons. Each traveller can get up to $4000 every quarter to lessen FX disparity at parallel and official markets.

The rate, which exchanged for N413 per dollar in the last few months, has added about N6, bank sources told TheCable on Wednesday.

“We are surprised to see the changes too. The differences have always been kobo — but recently it has moved from N413 to 417 and within the last week and now, our portal is exchanging for N419 to a dollar,” a source said.

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“Customers have no choice. So, most people do not complain about the new development. It is better than the aboki (black) market rate of N570.”

At the parallel market, naira traded flat at N570 against the US dollar.

Bureaux De Change operators (BDCs), popularly known as ‘abokis’, who spoke to TheCable, quoted the naira at N567/N570 to a dollar.

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A parallel market (street market) is characterised by noncompliant behaviour with an institutional set of rules.

Since the suspension of trading information by abokiFX — citizens have resorted to street traders for current parallel market rates of the local currency.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has consistently maintained that the parallel market represented less than one percent of foreign exchange (FX) transactions and should never be used to determine Nigeria’s naira/dollar exchange rate.

On the apex bank’s website, the local currency closed at N415.17 to a dollar at the official market on Tuesday.

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This means the rate has dropped N2 so far in January at the official market.

Nwanisobi Osita, spokesperson of the CBN, had told TheCable that the market determines the exchange rate.

“If you see N413, then that’s what it is. The market determines the rate,” Osita said.

The apex bank has devalued the exchange rate multiple times since March 2020 as it strives to bridge the disparity between the official and parallel market rates.

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