Step-by-step: How to buy dollars from CBN in Nigeria (2024)

Opinion

Buying dollars in Nigeria can be an extreme sport, this is a step-by-step guide on how to buy dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Step-by-step: How to buy dollars from CBN in Nigeria (1)

This article is broken down into a background story and then the actual step-by-step guide on how to buy dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria. If you are not interested in the background story, please use the Table of Contents link above to jump to the step-wise guide.

Background story—Much ado about USD in NG

Buying dollars in Nigeria can be an extreme sport. The CBN simply doesn't have enough US dollars or FX to meet the demand from Nigerians—individuals, corporates, and importers/exporters.

Following the constant drop in crude oil (Nigeria's major export) price per barrel, the CBN has grappled with how to regulate the flow of dollars in the country. In 2020, the apex bank pegged the naira to the dollar—a strategy that experts have frowned upon—at ₦380 (from BDCs to Nigerians).

Today, the official exchange rate of the NGN/USD is ₦420. At this rate, everyone wants to buy, but no one wants to sell. This non-equilibrium has led to the rise of a parallel market where the local currency exchanges for ₦650—a premium of 55% over the official rate.

Well, none of all these is your business as a man-on-the-street. And if the CBN says they want to sell dollars to you at ₦420, then, by all means, buy.

In this article, I'd walk you through how to do just that—buy dollars from the CBN.

One way to buy dollars from the CBN is to apply for a Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), capped at $4,000 (£3,015). Individuals apply for a PTA when they are travelling out of the country. Thus, needing to spend in a foreign country. Other popular reasons Nigerians buy dollars from the CBN are for medical allowance or educational fees. So, for instance, young Nigerians migrating to the UK through the Global Talent Visa route are more than welcome to apply for the PTA.

As recent as last year, if you wanted to buy dollars from the CBN, you could walk into your bank branch with the required documents (more on this later) and fill out an application and get your FX in cash. There was some racketeering involved in this process where people book flights to obtain a ticket (one of the application requirements), obtain the FX, and then turn around to cancel that ticket and sell the FX on the black market. Thereby, earning an arbitrage for themselves.

So, for instance, someone can make close to a million naira (~₦920,000) by obtaining the maximum PTA at the bank rate and selling on the black market.

This further worsens the situation of dollars in the country for everyone. Now, the only way to apply for PTA is by submitting an application online on the centralised Trade Monitoring System (TMS) administered by the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria.

How to apply for PTA in Nigeria

Here are the steps you need to follow to apply successfully for PTA from the CBN:

Step 1, Signup: If this is your first time, you should start by signing up to the Trade Monitoring System. Then, as an individual, you would need to sign-up with your BVN. Click "Continue". And then, the system will send you an activation email to the email address linked to your BVN. When you click to activate your account, you would be required to set a new password and that completes your signup.

If you don't know your BVN, dial *565*0# on the phone number linked to the BVN.

Step 2, Login: Once you've signed up, you will login with your username and password. Your username is the email address where you received the activation email. And your password is the password you set at the signup stage. When you login successfully, you land on a dashboard containing your user and contact details.

Step 3, Start Application: Once logged in, click on the "Form A" drop-down tab at the top and select "Start Application". There are four short sections to fill as part of your application—basic applicant information, trade services (purpose of funds, origination bank details, and

  • Applicant Information: This comprises the applicant's basic information—Name, Phone, BVN, Email, and Address. The first four details are uneditable by you, as they've been pre-filled by the system based on the information they already have about you. However, the address is amenable.
  • Trade Services
    • Transaction purpose: There are three options—PTA, Medical allowance, and Educational fees. If you pick PTA, like most people, the default "Trade Category" is Tourism and Travel related services. You can either stick with that or change it.
    • Beneficiary information: Who is going to receive the money? The applicant's BVN is already pre-filled alongside name and email all that's left is for you to add your phone number and Address.
    • Request information: How much do you want and in what currency? There are nine currencies listed: Canadian Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Naira, Pounds sterling, Riyal, Swiss Franc, US dollar, Yuan/Renminbi
    • Travel information: Provide your International passport number, Destination currency, Airline name, Ticket number, and Route
  • Bank Details: Basically, help CBN to know where to deduct the naira equivalent and where to disburse the FX to by selecting the Bank's name, bank branch, and entering your account number. You can opt-in to collect your FX as cash or have it transferred to an FX account. Most people just do cash.
  • Attachments: Submit the required doc. They ask for a Valid Visa, Return Ticket. But you can also add your international passport bio-data page, as a form of bonus.

Step 4, Preview: Read through your entire application, edit for errors and clarity.

Step 5, Submit: When you click submit, you'd get a mail saying your Form A process has been initiated.

🎁

Tip: You are advised to only make this application two weeks before your specified travel date on your ticket. However, it does guarantee access to it, sources said they had to wait longer sometimes. Also, new generation banks like Globus Bank and Providus provide PTAs and BTAs faster.

What to do after you've applied for PTA

After applying for PTA, you should wait till you get an email from tradesystem.gov.ng instructing you on the status of your application. If you are instructed to go to the bank to pick up your cash, ensure to carry along your travel document (in most cases, your international passport).

When you get to the bank, your passport will be stamped and you will be given the cash.

The end.

Zooming out

Recently, some airlines flying to and fro Nigeria were reported to request dollars as a form of payment for the ticket. This is due to the huge amount of money held up in the confines of Nigeria, preventing repatriation that fuels the international airline's operation.

According to IATA, the "amount of airline money blocked from repatriation by the Nigerian government grew to $464 million in July [2022]". With $85 million trapped in Nigeria, the UAE-headquartered international carrier—Emirates—is pulling out of Nigeria from September 1, 2022.

This situation presents a conundrum. The FGN and CBN want citizens to present a ticket before getting allocated their travel allowances. But how will they be able to afford a ticket, if the ticketers (airlines) would now require payment in dollars?

Step-by-step: How to buy dollars from CBN in Nigeria (2024)

FAQs

How to buy dollar from Central Bank of Nigeria? ›

One way to buy dollars from the CBN is to apply for a Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), capped at $4,000 (£3,015). Individuals apply for a PTA when they are travelling out of the country. Thus, needing to spend in a foreign country.

How do I buy from CBN? ›

All the monetary policies of Nigeria's government are implemented by the CBN through other commercial banks. This means you can't buy dollars or forex from CBN directly unless you operate Burea De Change (BDC) which is registered and certified by the apex bank.

How to buy dollars from bank in Nigeria? ›

How to Apply For PTA/BTA in any Bank in Nigeria
  1. Fund your bank account with the Naira equivalent of the amount in dollars you need.
  2. Visit the CBN's Trade Monitoring System Portal (TRMS) and click on “Start Application”
  3. Select PTA/BTA.

How to buy yuan from CBN? ›

Can an individual walk into CBN and buy Foreign Currency? NO,the present policy does not allow individuals to walk into CBN and buy foreign currency. The CBN only sells Foreign currency to Banks and Bureaux de Change.

How long does it take CBN to approve Form A? ›

The process usually takes two to three weeks — depending on the application period.

Can I pay in dollars from naira account? ›

Nigerians can use their naira-denominated debit cards to pay for transactions billed in US dollars online. For every purchase, debits are made directly from their naira accounts at current exchange rates.

What is CBN dollar limit? ›

To reduce forex spending abroad, the CBN had directed that bank customers who spent above the $50,000 annual forex limit it imposed would be implemented and defaulters sanctioned. The CBN also curbed access to the interbank currency market for importers bringing various goods.

What is the cheapest way to buy US dollars? ›

Banks and credit unions are generally the best places to exchange currency, with reasonable exchange rates and the lowest fees.

What is CBN cash limit? ›

The new policy will become effective on January 9, 2023.

“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5,000,000, respectively.

How can I receive money from Nigeria to USA? ›

Deposit Naira into your Sendcash account. Add a US beneficiary bank account to receive the wire transfer. Enter the USD amount to transfer and confirm your transaction.
...
  1. It's easy. Make a quick Naira transfer, enter your US recipient details and send money to the US in just a few minutes!
  2. It's secure. ...
  3. It's fast.

Can I buy dollars from Zenith bank? ›

Dear Valued Customer, Kindly be informed that dedicated Foreign Currency Teller Points have been instituted in all our branches nationwide to enable you purchase foreign currency quickly and conveniently.

Which app can I use to buy dollar in Nigeria? ›

Binance Exchange

Binance is a major cryptocurrency trading platform in the globe. The app can be used to store various coins. You may pick from various US Dollar stable coins to use in your savings. Some of the USD coins you may store on Binance include USDT, USDC, and BUSD.

How much is dollars black market? ›

Exchange Rate Today

USD is being traded at ₦756 in Black Market(Lagos) today, Friday, February 10, 2023. USD has been traded at ₦756 when Black Market opened this week on Monday, February 6, 2023. This makes it 0.00% rise for United States Dollar against Naira this week.

What is the dollar buy rate today? ›

Currency Rate Today
Currency NameBuy Rate (Card Rate)Sell Rate
US Dollar (USD)84.2180.9
Euro (EUR)90.8686.8
Sterling Pound (GBP)101.4997.14
Thai Baht (THB)2.692.21
2 more rows

How do I buy the new Chinese Cryptocurrency? ›

Download a Metamask Wallet
  • Download a Metamask Wallet. ...
  • Set up your Metamask. ...
  • Buy Ethereum as Your Base Currency. ...
  • Send Ethereum From Binance to Your Crypto Wallet. ...
  • Choose a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) ...
  • Connect Your Wallet. ...
  • Trade Your Ethereum With the Coin You Want to Get.

How much does CBN charge for form A? ›

The CBN said a charge of N5,000.00 as fee per declaration of e-Form 'A' is applicable with effect from November 30, 2021 and henceforth.

Can CBN freeze account without court order? ›

The CBN Governor, on his own, does not have the power to order the freezing of any account; only the Federal High Court has the power to make such order, after which the CBN can direct any bank, pursuant to the Court order, to freeze the accounts specified in the order.

Can I withdraw money from CBN? ›

The PUNCH reports that in this arrangement, the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations is N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.

What is required for dollar account? ›

You can open an instant Dollar account on Grey without leaving the comfort of your home. All you need is a valid ID card and a copy of your recent utility bill.

How do I open dollars account in Nigeria? ›

Most Nigerian banks offer US dollar domiciliary bank accounts to their clients for free, and many have no maintenance fees.
...
To do this, banks will generally ask you to provide the following documents:
  1. A completed application form;
  2. A copy of your ID;
  3. 2 passport photographs;
  4. Completed reference forms;
  5. Proof of address.

What is the cheapest way to send money from Nigeria to USA? ›

Bank Transfer

Bank transfers are usually the cheapest option when it comes to funding your international money transfer with Wise. Bank transfers can be slower than debit or credit cards, but they usually give you the best value for your money.

What is the new cash policy for CBN? ›

The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) shall be #100,000 subject to a maximum of 20,000 cash withdrawal per day. 4. Only denominations of #200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

What is the new CBN dollar policy? ›

The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Tuesday, announced a restriction on the maximum cash withdrawal over-the-counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000, respectively. The new policy will take effect from January 9, 2023.

What is Zenith monthly dollar limit? ›

Now you can perform international transactions of up to $1,000 monthly with the Zenith Bank Naira Card. If you don't have a Naira Card, visit any of our branches to request for one. Please share. Ebinum Lkechukuw and 13,120 others like this.

What is the best day to buy US dollars? ›

There is no specific best day to exchange currency, different factors such as political, economical factors, etc. play roles on currency exchange rates.

What is the best way to buy foreign currency? ›

Local banks and credit unions usually offer the best rates. Major banks, such as Chase or Bank of America, often offer the added benefit of having ATMs overseas. Online bureaus or currency converters, such as Travelex, provide convenient foreign exchange services.

How much cash can I exchange at once? ›

Is there a limit on large currency exchange? In most countries, there are no legal limits on currency exchange. The UK, US, Canada, Australia, NZ and the countries in the EU have no restrictions on the maximum size of a bank-to-bank money transfer.

What is daily limit? ›

Daily Limit means the total maximum daily amount of Transactions to be made by the User from the Account tied to the Contract.

Where can I send money from Nigeria to USA? ›

  • Best Money Transfers Wise (ex-TransferWIse) Western Union WorldRemit Skrill Remitly Paysend CurrencyFair TransferGo.
  • Best Neobanks Wise Account Revolut N26 Monese bunq Curve Starling Bank.

Which Nigeria bank is in USA? ›

About UBA Group

We are the U.S. arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA), the leading sub-Saharan African bank with over 21 million customers, 20,000 employees, and 1,000 branches across 20 African countries.

Can I use Western Union to send money from Nigeria to USA? ›

You can choose to send money straight to their bank account or for a cash pickup in minutes2 at a Western Union location. Send directly to their bank account3 in the United States. Send to any of our 55,000+ agent locations4 in the United States.

How much is Zenith limit? ›

You can make transfers of up to one million naira with *966# EazyBanking, Update your profile now! Maryrose Chiamaka Aniakor and 329 others like this.

How long does it take to process a form A in Nigeria? ›

Specifically, it has reduced interface with the banks because once you create an account, fill the Form 'A' and submit genuine documents, within 24 hours you are notified of approval or denial.

How much do I need to open a dollar account at Zenith Bank? ›

Known issue with $1,000 minimum

If you are asked for an initial deposit of $1,000 as a prerequisite for opening the domiciliary account please, send us an email at zenithbank@paystack.com with the subject Paystack Merchant Domiciliary Account, explaining what happened when you tried to open the account.

How to buy or save dollars in Nigeria? ›

Top 5 Best Apps to Save Money in Dollars Nigeria 2022
  1. Muna. Muna app is a crypto wallet that enables you to save in numerous stable digital coins, such as Bitcoin, USDN, Waves, etc. ...
  2. Piggyvest. Piggyvest is one of Nigeria's biggest online savings and investment platforms. ...
  3. Cowrywise. ...
  4. Bundle Africa. ...
  5. Crowdyvest.

Can I buy dollar on Kuda? ›

Can kuda bank receive foreign currency? You can now easily receive dollar, pounds and euros from Nigeria using Kuda. You will get your own Virtual United States (USD) Bank Account, Euros (EUR) Bank Account and Pounds (GBP) Bank Account.

How much is $1 dollar in Nigeria now? ›

1 USD = 462.258921 NGN Feb 10, 2023 09:25 UTC

Check the currency rates against all the world currencies here.

How much is dollar selling in Nigeria? ›

Dollar to Nigerian Naira Exchange Rate Today, Live 1 USD to NGN = 460.2875 (Convert Dollars to Nigerian Naira)

How much is a Dollar to naira on black market? ›

Currently, naira is being exchanged with the dollar at the rate of N743/$1 as at Monday, January 9, 2023 at the parallel market also known as the black market. “In 2023, exchange rate adjustment is inevitable,” said Rewane in his monthly presentation for December 2022, titled, 'An Odd Year that Feels Like a Leap Year'.

Where is dollar strongest? ›

20 Best Places To Visit Where the American Dollar Is Strong
  • Vietnam. Phu Quoc, Vietnam. ...
  • Mexico. Credit: © Jonathan Ross | Dreamstime.com. ...
  • Thailand. Credit: Bigstock.com. ...
  • Chile. Torres del Paine National Park. ...
  • Belize. Ambergris Caye. ...
  • Jamaica. Credit: Lucky-photographer/shutterstock.com. ...
  • Argentina. ...
  • Hungary.

Which currency is strong today? ›

The Kuwaiti dinar continues to remain the highest currency in the world owing to Kuwait's economic stability. The country's economy is primarily reliant on oil exports because it has one of the world's largest reserves.

How much is S $100 in US dollars? ›

75.46320 USD

How much is YCC in USD? ›

The conversion value for 1 YCC to 0.004 USD. BeInCrypto is currently using the following exchange rate 0.004. You can convert YCC to other currencies like DOGE, OKB or BTC.

What is the name of China new Cryptocurrency? ›

The digital Yuan is China's electronic currency. Also known as e-CNY or e-RMB or e-yuan, this currency stands in direct competition with cryptocurrencies, corporate payment systems, and mobile payment apps. Learn more about what it is and how it works.

Where can I exchange yuan for dollars? ›

You'll have a few options on the table when it comes to exchanging Chinese yuan for currencies like US dollars, euros, and Saudi riyals outside of China.
...
These include:
  • High street/airport currency exchange desks.
  • Foreign currency exchange at your bank.
  • ATMs.
  • Bank cards.
  • Bank wire.

Can we buy USD from bank? ›

Foreign Exchange can be purchased :

from any bank which is authorised to deal in foreign exchange or full-fledged moneychangers.

Can I buy Central Bank digital currency? ›

Retail CBDCs are issued to the general public. Under this model, consumers are able to own a CBDC in a wallet or account and use it for payments.

How much is dollar sold in Nigerian banks? ›

Dollar to Nigerian Naira Exchange Rate Today, Live 1 USD to NGN = 439.38 (Convert Dollars to Nigerian Naira)

How do you buy physical currency? ›

Though there may be a small fee if you exchange less than a certain amount, your bank or credit union will almost always be the best place to exchange currency (and the cheapest). You may be able to order currency at a branch location or by phone or online to have it delivered to you, or to pick up at a branch.

What documents are required for currency exchange? ›

For Buying Foreign Currency
  • A valid passport.
  • A valid VISA for the country you want to travel.
  • Confirmed ticket (travel within 60 days once got the exchanged currency)
  • PAN card.
  • Aadhar card.
Jan 6, 2022

Which bank can receive dollars in Nigeria? ›

And after receiving your dollars you can head to the bank to make a withdrawal and collect your dollars in cash. You can open a US (USD) domiciliary account with Zenith bank, Access bank, UBA, First Bank, FCMB, GTBank, etc.

What is the buy dollar rate today? ›

Currency Rate Today
Currency NameBuy Rate (Card Rate)Sell Rate
US Dollar (USD)84.2180.9
Euro (EUR)90.8686.8
Sterling Pound (GBP)101.4997.14
Thai Baht (THB)2.692.21
2 more rows

How do I start buying digital currency? ›

Here's how to buy cryptocurrency through an exchange:
  1. Choose which cryptocurrency exchange you want to use. ...
  2. Establish an account with the cryptocurrency exchange. ...
  3. Fund your account with fiat money. ...
  4. Decide which cryptocurrency you want to buy. ...
  5. Place a buy order for your chosen cryptocurrency.

What is the best way to buy digital currency? ›

Coinbase

Coinbase is by far the most popular and one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges because you can invest directly with USD. You can currently purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin and 30+ other coins and tokens on the platform.

How do I prepare for digital currency? ›

Preparing for a world of CBDCs
  1. Prepare consumer-facing wallets.
  2. Build tech to custody CBDC keys.
  3. Maintain trusted security infrastructure.
  4. Develop accompanying KYC and AML tools for digital payments transactions.
  5. Develop new customer services and products.

How to get dollars in Nigeria? ›

Top Three Ways to Receive US Dollars in Nigeria
  1. Domiciliary accounts. With a domiciliary account in any traditional bank, you can ask the sender to make an international wire transfer to your account. ...
  2. Money transfer services. ...
  3. Grey.
Nov 30, 2022

How much is $1 US in Naira? ›

1 USD = 460.47 NGN Feb 10, 2023 00:50 UTC

Check the currency rates against all the world currencies here.

Do I need my passport to buy dollars? ›

If I'm buying/exchanging currency in a branch do I need to bring identification? If you are buying currency and paying by card then you will need to bring one of the following; Valid passport.

When to buy U.S. dollars? ›

You can get the best exchange rate every day except on the weekends. This is because the foreign exchange market isn't operating during the weekends. In other words, most currency exchange service providers, international banks, and money changers are closed so the last operation is on Friday.

Do I need ID to exchange currency? ›

Lots of retailers will ask for one of the following forms of ID when you're exchanging currency: Valid passport.

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