How to send money to Nigeria

Find a fast, easy way to transfer funds to Nigeria from the UK.

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Want to send money to Nigeria? Regardless of whether you’re sending funds to relatives, helping out your tourist mate travelling through the country or any other reason, you have a number of options to consider when it comes to transferring funds.

The number of choices available can be a little bit daunting, so read on to find out how to transfer your funds in a safe, secure and affordable way.

Compare services that send money to Nigeria from the UK

The table below allows you to compare multiple international money transfer providers.

Table: sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 478.08 NGN
477,129
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
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GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 479.533 NGN
478,100
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
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GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 481.81 NGN
480,846
First two transfers free for new customers.
Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How to send money to Nigeria online

Sign up and send money to Nigeria with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s Nigerian bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Nigeria. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

What’s the best way to send money to Nigeria?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees to send money to Nigeria. Some offer transfers straight to Nigerian bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in Nigerian naira in person. PayPal, banks and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Nigerian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram let you transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Nigeria – often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weaker exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or XE when possible.

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Banks

Nigerian naira are almost certainly carried by your bank. Although your local bank can convert your pound sterling into Nigerian naira, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending £1,000 to Nigeria

Let’s say you need to send £1,000 to friends or family. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 2 May 2020.

Digital money transferCash transferBank transfer
Fee£0£1.90£20 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 GBP = 484.38 NGN1 GBP = 470.72 NGN1 GBP = 458.2 NGN
Transfer speed1-2 dayMinutes2-5 days
Amount receivedNGN 484,386NGN 470,720NGN 458,210
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with NGN 26,176 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Nigeria in as little as 15 minutes for just a slightly higher fee.

How to get the most out of your money transfer

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Nigeria to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The GBP-NGN relationship fluctuates daily, but typically only changes drastically once every few years. However, locking in an exchange rate now may save you money down the line.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Nigerian naira you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Nigeria.
  • Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favourable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to Nigeria, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Nigerian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow it down to a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to Nigeria

When it’s more important to get your money to Nigeria quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes.

You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to Nigeria without a bank account

If you don’t have a bank account, you can still use cash transfer services to get the money to its destination. Similarly, a recipient can get the money with a cash transfer if they don’t have a bank account.

These cash transfer services are widely available around the world and although they’ll typically not be the cheapest available service they can be fast, convenient and can be used without bank accounts.

Nigeria’s exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Nigeria’s exchange rate often fluctuates when compared to the pound sterling, so expect exchange rates today to be different than those you’ll see tomorrow. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Track how the Nigerian naira trades against the pound sterling in our historical rate chart.

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Updated: 04 Jul 2020 13:08:56 UTC

Documents needed to send money to Nigeria

To send money to Nigeria from the UK, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Nigeria may be different by company.

Documents to send money from the UK

To send money from the UK to Nigeria, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s licence, passport or other government-issued ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Nigerian bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.

Documents to receive money in Nigeria

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A Nigerian passport or other ID issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) may be required to pick up your transfer in cash.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

What to watch out for

Nigerian money transfer scams have been plaguing the money transfer world for many decades, and may be referred to as 419 scams, Nigerian Prince scams or overseas funds transfer scams. Typical signs of this scam include:

  • The money needs to be sent urgently.
  • The transaction requires confidentiality.
  • A US or UK based person acts as a go-between for a foreigner with large amounts of money.
  • Money is requested to cover a fee.
  • Scammer claims they are being persecuted for religious beliefs and want to give their money away.
  • Claims that your distant relative died, but you need to send money to cover fees in order to access their wealth.

If you suspect someone may be contacting you through one of these scams, contact Action Fraud UK to alert them of this fraud attempt.

Bottom line

It shouldn’t cost a fortune to send money to Nigeria. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.

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