Last updated on September 30th, 2023 at 07:31 pm
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)?
To straight answer is NO. But we’ll share some tips with you on how to access foreign exchange from Nigeria’s apex bank through the financial institutions after the apex bank stopped the sales of FX to Bureau De Change operators.
Can I buy dollars at the CBN rate?
The Central Bank of Nigeria isn’t a commercial bank. Anyone can’t just walk into a branch of CBN to buy dollars. NO. CBN is an apex bank that 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.
Remember that CBN no longer fund BDCs because of what the apex bank described as sharp practices on their part. 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.
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 who 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.
As earlier pointed out CBN no longer sell to BDCs, you have to walk into banking all beginning from July 28, when the new policy on FX began.
How can I buy dollars from my bank in Nigeria?
If fall under these categories of users, you can buy dollar from any of the branches of Nigerian banks:
- Personal Travel Allowance
- Business Travel Allowance
- Foreign medical use
- School fees payment abroad
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.”
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.
This means you can only buy dollars from CBN through financial institutions. But there are allegations forex round-tripping whereby allies of the ruling party have access to the apex to buy fx at the CBN rate. Lamido Sanusi, former CBN governor made a similar allegation in the past.