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Top Tips for Sending Money Out of Nigeria in 2023

Sending money out of Nigeria involves understanding a complex web of financial and legal frameworks.

With Nigeria’s evolving foreign exchange policies and the global economy’s ever-changing landscape, it’s crucial for individuals and businesses to stay informed and compliant.

This blog aims to shed light on the recent changes in Nigeria’s foreign exchange regulations and provide practical tips for efficiently sending money abroad.

When looking to send money out of Nigeria, you may also consider offshore asset management.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what i specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Understanding Nigerian Foreign Exchange Regulations

In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced significant changes to the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market, marking a pivotal shift in how foreign exchange transactions are conducted in Nigeria.

These changes include the integration of various foreign exchange market segments into the Investors and Exporters Window (I&E Window) and the re-establishment of the “Willing Buyer and Willing Seller” model within this window.

The aim is to create a more transparent, liquid, and price-discovery conducive FX market. By doing so, the CBN seeks to improve foreign exchange supply, curb speculative behaviors, and boost customer confidence, thereby enhancing the overall stability of the FX market​​​​.

Key aspects of these changes include:

  • Eligibility for the I&E Window: All visible and invisible transactions, such as medical expenses, school fees, travel allowances, and remittances, are now eligible for processing through the I&E Window. This ensures a broader range of transactions can be covered under the regulated exchange system.
  • Unfettered Access to Domiciliary Accounts: Holders of ordinary domiciliary accounts will have unrestricted access to their funds. They can utilize cash deposits up to a daily limit of USD 10,000 via telegraphic transfer, subject to proper due diligence and adherence to anti-money laundering laws.
  • Abolition of Dollar Rebate Schemes: The CBN has also discontinued its dollar rebate schemes as of June 30, 2023. This move aligns with the new policy direction aimed at encouraging the inflow of foreign currency into Nigeria through market-driven mechanisms.

Legal Implications and Compliance Requirements When Sending Money Out of Nigeria

With these regulatory changes, it’s vital for entities engaging in foreign exchange transactions to understand the legal implications and comply with the regulations.

The foreign exchange rate is now predominantly determined by market forces, and only eligible transactions can be funded through the I&E Window.

Entities looking to fund ineligible transactions must source foreign currency outside this window​​.

  • Capital Importation: All investments must be channeled through an authorized dealer, and a Certificate of Capital Importation should be obtained to evidence the inflow.
  • Technology Transfer Agreements: Such agreements need to be registered with the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) to comply with regulatory obligations​​.
Sending Money Out of Nigeria
seeking professional tax advice is advisable. This ensures compliance and optimizes tax obligations related to sending money out of Nigeria.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to severe penalties. It’s crucial for individuals and businesses to understand these risks and take steps to ensure full compliance with the CBN’s directives.

How to Stay Informed About Regulatory Changes

Staying informed about changes in foreign exchange regulations is critical for anyone involved in sending money out of Nigeria.

Regular consultation with financial experts, staying updated through reliable news sources, and actively engaging with professional networks can help in navigating these complex regulations effectively.

Choosing the Right Money Transfer Service

When sending money out of Nigeria, selecting the right money transfer service is crucial. Traditional banks and online transfer services are the two primary options.

Banks are reliable and offer services like foreign currency accounts, but they often come with higher fees and slower transfer speeds.

Online transfer services, on the other hand, usually provide quicker transactions and lower fees. However, they might lack the comprehensive services that banks offer.

Recent financial developments in Nigeria, such as the introduction of a domestic card scheme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), are fostering innovation and reducing the demand for foreign exchangein settlement payments​​.

Additionally, the enforcement of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines ensures that these institutions uphold international standards​​.

Fees, Exchange Rates, and Transfer Speeds

In sending money out of Nigeria, fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds are significant factors. Traditional banks often have higher fees and less favorable exchange rates compared to online services.

Online transfer services, competing fiercely in the market, tend to offer more competitive rates and lower fees to attract customers. Speed is another crucial aspect; online services often process transactions faster than banks.

Top Money Transfer Services for Nigerians

When considering sending money out of Nigeria, several top money transfer services come to mind, each offering unique features like competitive rates, speed, and security.

In 2023, some of the most recommended services for sending money from Nigeria overseas include TransferWise, WorldRemit, Skrill, Azimo, and Western Union.

These platforms allow you to send large sums of money directly to the beneficiary’s bank account efficiently and often without additional fees.

When you are sending money out of Nigeria, it’s crucial to choose a service that aligns with your specific needs.

Whether you’re an expatriate residing in Nigeria, planning to move there, or engaging in business transactions, these services offer solutions tailored to diverse requirements.

They are designed to be both safe and affordable, making them an excellent choice for a range of financial needs, from buying property abroad to repatriating funds or paying overseas suppliers.

Each of these services has its strengths. For instance, TransferWise (now known as Wise) is renowned for its transparency and low fees.

WorldRemit is favored for its extensive reach and ease of use, while Skrill is known for its versatility in handling various currencies.

Azimo stands out for its fast transfer times, and Western Union’s extensive global network makes it a reliable choice for sending money to remote locations.

The choice ultimately depends on factors like the destination country, transfer speed, fees, and user experience​​.

Safety and Security Considerations

The paramount concern when sending money out of Nigeria is the safety and security of your transactions.

The fintech sector in Nigeria has been rapidly integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance security measures.

AI plays a crucial role in fraud detection by analyzing behavioral patterns and detecting anomalies. This advancement is particularly important in a landscape where regulatory oversight may not always be stringent.

AI’s ability to learn from digital footprints means it can continually improve at detecting fraudulent activities, making it an invaluable tool in the fight against financial crime.

This technological advancement helps in designing customized products that cater to the specific needs of customers, thereby enhancing both security and user experience.

The Nigerian fintech sector’s growth and financial inclusion have been significantly influenced by the integration of mobile phones, data analysis, and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) system.

Sending Money Out of Nigeria
Protecting your financial information is critical. Use strong, unique passwords for each online service and enable two-factor authentication where available.

BVN has transformed the sector, especially from a Know Your Customer (KYC) and fraud prevention perspective.

However, it’s also important to be aware of the challenges that come with such technological advancements.

For instance, new policies related to data protection can impact fintech operations and customer experiences.

Therefore, when sending money out of Nigeria, it’s vital to choose a service that not only offers competitive rates and speed but also prioritizes the safety and security of your transactions.

Opt for services that are transparent about their security measures and have a track record of safeguarding customer data and funds.

Always verify the legitimacy of the transfer service and be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true, as they may be scams.

Tax Implications and Reporting for International Transfers

The Nigerian tax landscape has seen significant changes with the introduction of the Finance Act 2023. This Act aims to enhance fiscal stability and address challenges in the digital economy​​.

It includes provisions like the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the disposal of digital assets, impacting those who use cryptocurrencies for international money transfers​​.

International Tax Considerations and Double Taxation

International tax considerations, including the risk of double taxation, are critical when sending money out of Nigeria. It’s important to understand the tax implications in both Nigeria and the recipient country.

Losses from the disposal of assets can now be deducted against gains, which might affect individuals and businesses involved in international transfers​​.

Sending Money Out of Nigeria
Sending money out of Nigeria involves understanding a complex web of financial and legal frameworks.

Required Documentation for Tax Compliance

To comply with Nigerian tax laws when sending money out of Nigeria, maintaining proper documentation is essential. This includes records of transactions, taxes paid, and any applicable deductions or exemptions.

Recent amendments to the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) underscore the importance of proper documentation, especially for nonresident companies​​.

Seeking Professional Tax Advice

Given the complexity of tax laws and the recent changes in Nigeria’s tax regime, seeking professional tax advice is advisable. This ensures compliance and optimizes tax obligations related to sending money out of Nigeria.

The recent introduction of unrestricted capital allowance for certain industries also highlights the evolving nature of tax laws in Nigeria​​.

Preparing for Transaction Fees and Currency Conversion

When sending money out of Nigeria, it’s crucial to understand and prepare for the transaction fees and currency conversion costs involved.

How to Calculate Total Transfer Costs

Calculating the total cost of sending money out of Nigeria involves more than just the amount you want to transfer. It includes transaction fees and the impact of exchange rates.

For example, as of November 2023, sending 2000 USD from Nigeria to the UK could cost 13.19 USD in fees with an exchange rate of 0.7934 GBP per USD, resulting in a total of 1576.27 GBP received​​.

Similarly, sending the same amount to the US might involve a fee of 5.52 USD​​, and to South Africa, a fee of 22.25 USD with an exchange rate of 18.7828 ZAR per USD​​.

To calculate the total cost, you need to consider:

  • The amount you are sending.
  • The service fee charged by the transfer service.
  • The exchange rate applied to the transfer.

It’s important to compare different money transfer services to find the one that offers the best combination of low fees and favorable exchange rates.

Tips for Reducing Transaction and Conversion Fees

Reducing transaction and conversion fees is vital for cost-effective international money transfers. Here are some strategies:

  • Use a Money Transfer Service: Money transfer services often offer lower fees and better exchange rates compared to traditional banks​​.
  • Use a Credit or Debit Card: Some credit card companies offer international transfer services with no fees, and debit cards can also be an affordable option, though fees may vary by issuer​​.
  • Use a Foreign Exchange Broker: For larger transfers, foreign exchange brokers can offer lower fees and better exchange rates, though it’s important to research and understand the risks involved​​.

Each method has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on the amount, destination, and urgency of the transfer.

Understanding Dynamic Currency Conversion

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is a service offered by some international merchants and ATMs, allowing customers to see the cost of a transaction in their home currency.

While it might seem convenient, DCC can often lead to higher costs due to poor exchange rates. It’s generally advisable to choose to be charged in the local currency of the country you are sending money to, as this usually results in a better exchange rate.

Negotiating Better Rates with Transfer Services

Negotiating better rates is a smart way to reduce costs when sending money out of Nigeria. This is especially effective for regular or large transactions.

Building a relationship with your transfer service provider can open up opportunities for negotiated rates. Don’t hesitate to ask for better rates or explore different service providers to compare offers.

Sending Money Out of Nigeria
In sending money out of Nigeria, fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds are significant factors.

Best Practices for Safe and Secure Transactions

Ensuring the safety and security of your transactions is paramount when sending money out of Nigeria.

Identifying and Avoiding Scams

Scammers often target international money transfers. To avoid scams when sending money out of Nigeria, always verify the legitimacy of the transfer service.

Be wary of unsolicited requests for money transfers and do not share your personal or financial information with unverified sources.

Familiarize yourself with common scam tactics and always confirm the recipient’s identity before proceeding with a transfer.

Protecting Your Financial Information Online

Protecting your financial information is critical. Use strong, unique passwords for each online service and enable two-factor authentication where available.

Be cautious of phishing attempts – do not click on suspicious links or respond to unsolicited emails asking for personal information.

Always ensure you’re using a secure and encrypted connection, particularly when accessing banking or transfer services online.

Verifying Recipient Information and Transfer Details

Always double-check recipient information before finalizing a transfer. This includes their name, bank account details, and contact information.

Any discrepancy in details can result in funds being sent to the wrong recipient, which can be difficult to retrieve.

Regularly Updating Security Software

Maintaining up-to-date security software on your devices is a critical line of defense against cyber threats. Regular updates help protect against the latest viruses and hacking techniques, safeguarding your personal and financial information when conducting online transactions.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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