The Central Bank of Nigeria is the apex bank responsible for ensuring currency and price stability in Nigeria. The bank’s core mandate also includes issuing legal tender in the country and maintaining foreign exchange reserves to safeguard the international value of the Nigerian naira. CBN is also the official banker of the federal government of Nigeria and provides financial and business advice. In addition, the role of CBN is also to promote a sound financial system and ensure high standards of banking activities and financial stability in Nigeria.
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Can I buy dollars directly from CBN?
As an individual, it is impossible to just go to the Central Bank of Nigeria and buy US dollars. This is not allowed under current CBN policy, only commercial banks and bureau de change operators are allowed to buy dollars and other foreign currencies from CBN.
So if you are planning to visit one of the CBN branches to buy US dollars, you will be disappointed that they will not sell it to you.
Since CBN is a top bank, it only regulates the activities of all Nigerian commercial banks, they do not cater to individuals, which means it is also impossible for individuals to have bank accounts with CBN.
It should be noted that the CBN dollar exchange rate is completely different from the parallel market, which means that the CBN exchange rate is the cheapest in Nigeria.
Can I buy dollars from the bank?
Yes, you can buy USD from any commercial bank or currency Bureau de Change operator. Until recently, all registered and certified Bureau de Change operators were able to buy dollars directly from CBN, unfortunately this has changed.
CBN recently stopped selling currency to bureau de change operators. As it stands, you can only buy dollars from commercial banks in Nigeria.
The main reason CBN stopped selling dollars to currency exchange operators was to pursue unusual profits, which led them to sell dollars at exorbitant prices at the expense of the stability of the naira.
The Nigerian currency has been negatively impacted by the greed of some Bureau de Change operators who sell dollars at high prices just to make a profit.
This means that currently only commercial banks can sell dollars to individuals and businesses at a fair price. Commercial banks sell dollars to individuals primarily for the following purposes; Overseas medical bill payment, overseas tuition fee payment, business travel allowance and personal travel allowance.
It is always safer and cheaper to buy dollars from commercial banks because their prices may not be as high as parallel market prices. Many banks can give you a lower interest rate based on how many dollars you buy. This method is more suitable for people who want to buy large amounts of dollars.
Simply register with one of the commercial banks in Nigeria such as Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Union Bank and United Bank of Africa. Go straight to customer service and indicate that you want to buy dollars.
Some banks may not have enough dollars, if you want to buy a large amount, you may need to buy a small amount from another bank to add.
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