All the things you need to know before sending money to Nigeria. Read our complete guide now for Nigerians living abroad.
BREAKING NEWS 17/06/2016: The situation is evolving rapidly, as the President of Nigeria recently gave the CBN the go-ahead to let the value of the Naira fluctuate freely against other currencies, which should come into effect on 20 June. We should therefore expect to see the parallel and official rates converge soon, which a significant loss of value of the Naira. This means you might want to wait and see how the situation evolves before sending your money to Nigeria.
If you have ever wanted to send money to Nigeria, we bet that you must have come across many ads of banks that were offering the best deal in the market. Cheap transfers, or even sending your money for free, great exchange rate and the speed of light. It sounds alluring, doesn’t it? But the true story behind it might be a bit more complicated.
There are multiple factors influencing a country’s currency. Recently, Nigeria went through a fair amount of economical changes that had an impact on the official and unofficial exchange rate. It’s never easy to send money overseas, but in the case of Nigeria it becomes even trickier. How to choose the best option? That is the very reason we’ve put together this guide to help you send money to Nigeria. Have a read and you will quickly understand what is happening in the country. We will also explain the reason behind the existence of two currency exchange rates: official and unofficial one. Last but not least, we are happy to advise you on the best way to send money to Nigeria.
Why sending money to Nigeria is harder than it might seem?
As we mentioned earlier, the country has recently undergone some big changes.
Nigeria’s main export is crude oil. Due to the fall in the price of crude oil in the past years, the country’s economy has suffered and is now dealing with lots of issues, depending on imports to survive. As a result, the Nigerian currency, the naira (NGN), has been depreciating against the dollar or the pound.
To stop the situation from worsening, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) limited access to USD in the country. But as the demand for USD in Nigeria is still very strong, the decision of the CBN gave rise to a large parallel market. $10M are exchanged there every day! You can imagine that foreign currencies such as the USD are bought there at unbelievably high prices.
That is the reason why there are actually two different currency rates in Nigeria at the moment: the official exchange rate, which the CBN has pegged to the USD, and the parallel market rate.
It makes the situation of many Nigerian families even more difficult, as the cost of imported goods remains very high. On the other hand, the impact of the funds coming from their father, wives, husbands, or siblings working overseas is even bigger. It’s even more important than usual to choose an operator that offers an exchange rate British Pound to Naira as close to the parallel market rate as possible. Then, your recipient in Nigeria will get much more Naira for the same amount of pounds.
What are the exchange rates in Nigeria?
As we previously explained, there are two exchange rates in Nigeria at the moment: the official rate that was pegged by the CBN, and the parallel market rate which is much higher. Look how different they are!
We will use, as an example, the exchange rates comparing Pounds to Naira (1 GBP to NGN) from the 1st of June 2016.
Looking at the companies that are offering money transfers to Nigeria, it’s quite clear that some of them are basing their exchange rate on the official rate, and others on the parallel market rate. For instance:
- Xendpay: 1 GBP = 279.06 NGN
- Azimo: 1 GBP = 465.6 NGN
- WU: 1 GBP = 450 NGN
- WorldRemit 1 = 462.32 NGN
In the beginning, there were mostly the new, “disruptive” players on the market offering the parallel exchange rate. Interestingly, at the beginning of June, Western Union also seems to have also started using the same, more beneficial rate. That is the reason it’s so important to compare different companies on the market to find the best way to send money to Nigeria based on the most current GBP to NGN exchange rate.
How to send money to Nigeria?
There many options available for people who want to send money home from the UK. With a little help from your friends and experts at Monito, you will find the most convenient way to transfer money to Nigeria that will meet all of your needs.
Let’s start with the rather traditional approach. If you value personal contact and assistance, go with a physical kiosk or branch where you can send cash. Money will be paid out directly to your recipient. This form of sending money abroad is relatively fast and good for smaller amounts. On the other hand, be prepared to wait in line! Those money-shops are usually pretty busy! If you feel safer sending physical cash, you can also visit the nearest branch of your bank and send money there.
You can find online transfers super-handy, via bank or a licensed company. The other way to go is to send airtime to a mobile phone back in Nigeria, topping up recipient’s number with any amount of minutes.
What are the companies that offer international money transfers to Nigeria?
Because there are so many Nigerians living in the UK, the market is really saturated. Monito references several companies on its live comparison.
Monito references at least 10 companies on its live comparison to send money to Nigeria from the UK: Azimo, Small World, Lycaremit, Worldremit, Western Union, Xendpay, Post Office Money, MoneyGram.
Why it’s important to compare the offers of different operators when you send money to Nigeria?
Every time you send money abroad it’s important to do a comparison. Due to the current context of the country with the official and unofficial rates, it’s even more important to do it while making a money transfer to Nigeria. We recommend you always compare on independent comparison sites like Monito to find the best way to send money abroad.
Our site already has ranked several reliable money transfer companies that offer international money transfers from the UK to Nigeria. We also compared all the different ways to send money to Nigeria.
Can I get a special deals when I send money to Nigeria?
If you are looking for a good deal while sending money to Nigeria, TawiPay has plenty, so don’t forget to check out our website for the latest offers!
At the moment, Azimo offers the best exchange rates and lowest fees for Nigeria, and is far ahead of the competition. If you’re thinking about sending money abroad, it’s definitely worth considering this particular company, as they are one of the operators that cover almost all of the pay-in and pay-out options (e.g. bank transfer, mobile wallet, airtime topup, etc.).