No, it's not about cheating, but about how to send money to Nigeria and save a lot of fees!
It's about how to make the best of your money!
On 4th August 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria unexpectedly issued a presser stating that it was changing its policy with regards to the money transfer to Nigeria. What this move meant was that a large percentage of the services relied upon by many of its citizens would no longer be available.
The decision carried out by the regulator meant that all but 3 operating licenses were revoked. What’s more, the regulator also took it upon itself to warn the public, both at home and abroad to be wary of the unwholesome nature of the activities performed by International Money Transfer Operators.
According to the regulator, the reason it instituted the new policies was for "the greater economic good of Nigeria," the statement from the Central Bank went on to read that it would “not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country's foreign exchange regime."
The move, which was sudden and caught many people off-guard created immediate backlash. It’s a decision that affected a large amount of money. By the end of 2017, annual remittances to Nigeria stood at $21.9 billion, according to information obtained from Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development.
Some of the companies that were affected at the time include WorldRemit which had been operating in Nigeria since the beginning of 2011. It was, therefore, among the first companies to issue a statement rebuking the new policies. It termed the policies as “draconian” and went ahead to note that only three companies would now be left to operate.
All the companies not affected by the policy are those that had managed to establish physical operations in the country. Ismail Ahmed, the CEO and Founder of WorldRemit noted that:
"This move is arbitrary, inexplicable and hugely detrimental to the Nigerian diaspora, who rely on hundreds of money transfer companies and banks, providing them with choice, convenience, and competitive pricing."
And this was where the rain started falling on Nigerians living abroad, and interested in sending money back home!
Common problems experienced by Nigerians looking to send money in and out of the country include:
1. Money transfer restrictions —While wire transfers are generally a straight forward transaction, the same does not apply to Nigeria. Sending money in and out of the country requires the client to deal with numerous country-specific restrictions.
2. Transfer duration —When sending money from abroad, it may take a few business days for it to arrive to the recipient. This makes it even harder for those looking for money transfer to Nigeria urgently to help sort out medical bills.
3. The need to have a bank account —As pointed out earlier, the policies implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria had a huge impact in the money remittance sector. This included the need for recipients to have bank accounts with local banks. The unbanked population is, therefore, not able to benefit from these services.
4. High fees occasioned when sending money via banks.
Receiving Money in Nigeria
Freelancers working in Nigeria probably have it the hardest. As a freelancer, it means that you get to work with clients from all corners of the world. As is the case with freelancing in all places, the employers will always want to pay you using the method most convenient for them.
Here, methods that come into mind will include PayPal and bank transfer. But anyone who has transacted with PayPal knows very well that they have very strict policies, not forgetting very high rates. Countries such as Nigeria also happen to be among the most-watched countries by the payment processors.
So, what do you do when you have been toiling hard for the past few weeks or months working on a project, and have finally managed to complete it, but the employer cannot pay you? And the reason that they are unable to pay you is not that they are not willing to do so, but because they do not have a way to send you the money you have worked so hard for?
Read on to learn how you can overcome this hurdle, if and whenever it does arise when working on a freelance project!
I Would Like to Send Money to Nigeria, But I Don’t Know Which Provider to Use
Having emigrated to the United Kingdom, the United States, or even Canada from Nigeria, chances are that you left some people behind; people that you care about and you would like to send money to every once in a while.
But while you are used to sending money at the click of a button to other locations, the same does not apply to Nigeria. And the reality is that there are thousands of Nigerians like you looking for easy and inexpensive ways to remit Nairas back home to benefit friends, family, and even business associates.
In the search for a good money remittance company, you will note that banks on both sides of the divide do not offer the best rates. This is more so when you are looking to convert major currencies into Nairas. It’s the reason why it’s important to compare all the available options before you settle on one.
Whether you are looking to make a single transfer, or intend to make frequent transfers, you will need to find a reliable partner. Did you know that Nigerians abroad remit over twenty billion dollars each year to their friends and loved ones back home? Given that there are close to fifteen million Nigerians abroad, that’s an equivalent of $1,300 per person.
The research we have conducted so far has led us to believe that many people looking to send money to Nigeria overspend on their transfers by up to 5 percent. As such, if people were able to find a cheaper provider, this would mean that they would save as much as $1 billion each year.
Per person, this would translate to about $65. While PayPal and your local bank will not offer you the best exchange rates, the only solution available to you is to consider popular options such as credit cards, wire transfers, or bank deposits.
But why not spend some time online trying to compare the other well-known options online? You may be surprised at the rates you come to learn about when you are just about to send the money.
Send money to Nigeria with these Providers:
When all is said and done, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. While the Central Bank of Nigeria may have opted to institute stricter regulations, new ways have emerged that Nigerians living abroad can use to send money on mobile phones back home.
At the moment, any person looking to remit money back home can:
II. Alternatively, they can also opt to use the peer-to-peer marketplaces such as TransferWise. One thing to note about these marketplaces is that they are always promising better rates. It’s up to you to determine which rate works best for you based on the amount you want to send home.
III. Off topic, but also really interesting, is using bitcoins as sending medium and exchange the bitcoins to Naira by using a peer-to-peer marketplace such as Paxful.
While the aforementioned are viable solutions, they are just but an example of the solutions that you can rely on to send money to your family, friends, and business associates back in Nigeria.
Finally I show you the calculation examples of my two favorite providers for sending money to Nigeria: WorldRemit and TransferWise.
Let's assume you want to send 100 USD to your family in Nigeria.
Choosing TransferWise, you can send your 100 USD to a bank account of your receiver in Nigeria. TransferWise will apply the best currency exchange rate for you, as per today the receiver will receive 34,381 NGN.
Choosing WorldRemit, you can send your 100 USD as bank transfer, cash pickup or mobile airtime topup. Your receiver will receive 35,322 NGN. With WorldRemit, your first money transfers are free of charge!
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