How to send money to Nigeria

The safest and most cost-effective ways of sending money to friends and family in Nigeria from the UK.

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Regardless of whether you’re sending funds to relatives, helping out your tourist mate travelling through Nigeria 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 confusing, so read on to find out how to transfer your funds in a safe, secure and affordable way.

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    Compare services that send money to Nigeria from the UK

    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 1.99 471.337 NGN
    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.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 475.588 NGN
    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.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 1 2 days GBP 6.00 477.545 NGN
    Transfer money at the mid-market rate with no nasty surprises and excellent customer support. Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

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

    Scam warning

    Always make sure you’re sending money to someone you know. Despite being the butt of many jokes, the “Nigerian prince” scam is one that still happens often. This scam involves being contacted by someone requesting help in recovering a lot of money. This person may want you to give them your bank account information or money to pay the fees, with the promise that you’ll be rewarded later.

    Never provide your financial information or send money to anybody you don’t know.

    Other common scams and how to avoid them

    Steps to send money to Nigeria

    1. Create a free account with a money transfer service and provide your name, contact information, proof of identity and bank account information if you are not sending cash.
    2. Provide contact information for your transfer recipient.
    3. Select a payment option and enter the full details of your transfer.
    4. Keep track of the reference number or receipt you receive to monitor the progress of your transfer.

    How do international money transfers work?

    An international money transfer allows you to send money to friends, family and businesses overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Nigeria.

    Depending on the provider, you can initiate a money transfer in person, online or by phone. Your cash or bank account transfer is then either deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available as cash for pickup at a location in their country.

    Banks vs. money transfer companies

    Many banks in the UK offer the option to send funds to Nigeria. But they typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.

    A reputable money transfer specialist can often offer better exchange rates and charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more Nigerian naira into your recipient’s pocket.

    Ben Sends Money to Nigeria

    Ben wants to transfer £1,000 to his friend Hope. Hope lives in Nigeria and Ben is looking to repay an old debt. His bank offers international money transfers to Nigeria, but Ben rightly believes that he can save some money if he uses the services of a money transfer company. He decides to compare the cost of using his bank with the expense involved in using a money transfer provider.

    BankMoney Transfer Company
    Exchange rate1 GBP = 420 .33 NGN1 GBP = 445.21 NGN
    Transfer fee£25£3.99
    Transfer time2-5 daysWithin 2 days
    Transfer optionsOnline, cash pickupOnline
    Amount received in NGN420,330.00 NGN445,210.00 NGN

    As the table shows, Ben pays a smaller fee when using a money transfer company and is also able to send an extra 24,880 NGN.

    Compare transfer companies more effectively with these tips

    Ben’s example above demonstrates the importance of weighing up the pros and cons of different money transfer options, so compare the following features when making your decision.

    • Exchange rates. You’ll obviously want to find the best available exchange rate for your transfer, but keep in mind that some companies with lower rates may also offer lower fees.
    • Transfer fee. You can usually expect to pay a fee for your transfer, which could be a flat amount or a figure calculated as a percentage of the amount you are sending. However, some companies will waive fees for transfers in excess of a certain amount.
    • Transfer methods. Check to see whether there are multiple transfer methods available, such as online, over the phone or by visiting a branch.
    • Transfer options. Can you schedule regular payments well into the future? Are forward contracts and limit orders offered to allow you to cash in on market fluctuations?
    • Transfer time. If you’re sending an emergency transfer, the ability to have your cash picked up by your recipient within minutes is a big advantage.
    • Pickup methods. Can the cash be picked up in person from an agent location or branch, or is everything handled online?
    • Minimum transfer amounts. Be warned that some companies will require you to meet a certain minimum transfer amount in order to process your transaction.
    • Customer service. Is there a call centre, an online help centre and online live chat? It’s important to have assistance on hand whenever you need it.

    Foreign exchange rates explained

    The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency.

    Nigeria’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
    Currency exchange rate for Nigeria

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    Find out whether you should use a bank or transfer service

    Although you may want to transfer funds via your bank, there could be some banks in the UK that will not allow you to send money to Nigeria.

    The Nigerian Naira (NGN) is far from a commonly traded currency around the world, but there are banks that do allow transfers to this African nation.

    However, using your bank for an international money transfer is typically not the most cost-effective option. Instead, you will be much better off financially if you use the services of a specialist money transfer provider. These companies offer far better exchange rates than banks, along with much lower fees and faster processing times. This can result in a saving of time, money and stress for you.

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    Options for sending money to Nigeria from the UK

    • Bank transfers. Many banks in the UK will allow you to wire money to banks in Nigeria.
    • Online money transfer services. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to Nigeria from the comfort of your home.
    • Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the option of cash pickups from thousands of agent locations across Nigeria.
    • International money orders. Another option is to get an international guaranteed cheque from your bank.

    If you’d like to spend time in Nigeria while minimising your need for cash, consider using a credit card while in Nigeria.

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    Need emergency cash in Nigeria? Follow these tips

    While sometimes you can afford to wait a few days for your international money transfer to be processed, there are occasions when you need your funds to arrive as quickly as possible. When this occurs, you need to remember to take caution and double check all the details of your transfer. Make sure you are aware of the exchange rate you will be receiving, any fees that apply to your transfer and how long it will take for your cash to arrive.

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    Get your hands on emergency cash in Nigeria at these locations

    Both Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to transfer funds which can then be picked up from many agent locations all across Nigeria. If you’re picking up a big sum of cash, you may need to check with an agent in advance to make sure they will have sufficient cash on the premises to give to you. You’ll also need to supply proof of ID, for example your driver’s licence, and some details of your transaction.

    Western Union

    • Lagos

      Abibu Oki

      29/32 Abibu Oki Street
      Off Broad Street
      Lagos, Lagos 23401
      Phone: +234-01-7616622
      Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday

    • Access Bank PLC

      Block B Nnpc Towers Herbert
      Abuja, Lagos
      Phone: +234-012710012
      Open seven days 8am to 5pm

    • Kano

      Access Bank PLC

      Katin Kwari Ibrahim Taiwo Road
      Phone: +234-012710012
      Open seven days 8am to 5pm

    • Afribank Nigeria PLC Misau

      Misau, Kano
      Phone: +234-1-2712300
      Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday


    • Lagos

      Enterprise Bank Limited

      House 1 Motor Olupese Rd Oshodi
      Lagos, 0
      Phone: 234012629269
      Open 8am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm Saturday

    • United Bank for Africa

      Ikota VGC Shopping Complex
      Lagos, 0
      Phone: 23488223445
      Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday

    • Kano

      Ecobank – Kano City

      Abdullahi Wase Road By Shahuchi Pry Sch.
      Phone: 17613794
      Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday

    • FBN – Kano Main

      Lagos Street 10
      Kano, 0
      Phone: 23419052667
      Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday

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    Pick up cash safely when in Nigeria

    If you do find yourself picking up cash in Nigeria you need to take extreme care. Take another person with you for security and extra protection, making sure not to publicly advertise the fact that you are picking up a large sum of cash. Avoid any areas where trouble is known to occur and deposit the funds into your bank account as soon as is humanly possible.

    For more tips on travelling safely to Nigeria, browse online forums and blogs to discover a wealth of information.

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    Get started with a transfer to Nigeria

    From bank transfers to specialist international money transfer companies, you have a whole host of options to choose from when you need to send money to Nigeria. While the transfer process will differ depending on which service you use, you will often need to open an account with your chosen provider before you can transfer the funds. This means you will need to supply details such as your name, date of birth, contact information and your driver’s licence.

    When you lodge a transfer you will be given a receipt or tracking number, allowing you to monitor your transaction to completion.

    It’s quick and easy to transfer funds to Nigeria, but it’s important that you compare all the available options before deciding on the right company for you. Doing so will ensure that you can send money overseas in the most cost-effective manner.

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