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Is It Possible To Buy Dollars Directly From CBN?

Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by Ope Quadri

As the pressure on Nigerian Naira continues, one of our readers asked, “Is it possible to buy dollars directly from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)?


In this post, we’ll share some tips with you on how to get access to forex from Nigeria’s apex bank irrespective of your location from the list of Bureau De Change in Nigeria as certified by the CBN.

How to buy dollars directly from CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria isn’t a commercial bank. Anyone can’t just work into a branch of CBN to buy dollars. NO.

CBN is an apex bank which regulates the activities of all commercial banks in Nigeria.

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.

Only BDC can access dollars and forex directly from the CBN, individuals or speculators do not such access.

Note: The CBN exchange of dollar to Naira is completely different from what you get on the streets.

Who can buy dollars directly from the CBN?

CBN says, “A Bureau-de-Change is allowed to purchase forex from the CBN through a presentation of the CBN cheque issued by their banks twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

The Bureau-de-Change purchase equivalent amount of forex from the CBN up to a maximum limit of US$200,000.00 twice a week.”

You might want to ask…

How can I buy dollars from BDC?

The BDCs are one of the sectors that help the apex bank to implement policies through their activities in the forex market. As such, they operate based on the guidelines of the regulatory body.

You can only buy dollars from BDC in Nigeria if you’re a student, parent and guardian who is looking to pay school fees abroad.

When CBN sells dollars, pounds, Euros to the BDC, they are not meant for black market traders on the street of Lagos, they only sell to those to need them for the purposes stated above.

Apart from the BDC, you can also buy dollars from your bank if you fall within the stated set of people who need them for the most essential service abroad.

“Foreign Exchange available would be devoted to strategic importation or service obligations that are priority” a communique by CBN stated.

How can I buy dollars from my bank in Nigeria?

If you use your debit card to make a purchase from a store abroad, you’d be charged by the rate at which the bank is selling. At a time, some banks limited it to $100.

But it later changed as some banks in Nigeria sent messages to their customers to come to buy forex. It followed the pronouncement by the CBN that it is ready to provide forex for investors who wish to repatriate funds from the country

An SMS from one of the banks read: “Dear Client, purchase USD for eligible invisibles (Tuition fees, Upkeep, Medical Payments, Travel Allowances, etc) and SME transactions at our branches.”

How to buy dollars from banks in Nigeria

InfomediaNG gathered that banks are willing to sell dollars (forex) but currently sell to students, parents, and guardians looking to pay school fees in foreign institutions. To purchase the forex, all you need to do is approach your bank with evidence of use.

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