Unleashing the Potential of Nigeria’s Cross-Border Market

Nigeria, with its large population, has historically been significant in the global remittance landscape. However, recently it has fallen out of the top 10 remittance receiving countries. This article outlines the challenges, potential solutions, and opportunities for tapping into the lucrative cross-border market in Nigeria.


  • Historical Significance: In the mid-2010s, Nigeria was one of the countries with the highest remittances.
  • Decline: Nigeria has recently fallen out of the top 10 list for remittance receiving countries.

Currency Challenges

  • Naira Exchange Rates: The Nigerian Naira has two exchange rates:
    • Official rate: 450-460 (government regulated).
    • Parallel market rate: 740-760, once reached 900, almost double the official rate.
  • Currency Controls: Difficulties in obtaining US dollars due to currency controls have led to a huge demand within Nigeria.
  • Alternative Payment Methods: Businesses resort to buying crypto with Naira to facilitate cross-border transactions.

Current Grey Market Operations

  • Operating in Grey Zones: Businesses are operating in legal grey zones, and their activities could lead to legal consequences.
  • Improper Licensing and Reporting: Some Nigerian businesses register for federal reporting in the US without proper licenses.
  • Nested Transactions: Engaging in nested transactions raises significant concerns, especially from the US perspective.
  • Lack of Compliance Programs: Most businesses don’t have comprehensive compliance programs in Nigeria.

Seizing the Market Opportunity

To tap into the Nigerian cross-border market effectively and legally, businesses should take into consideration:


  • Ensure that the business operations are legal, properly documented, and comply with international regulations.
  • Engage in self-policing and provide a legal memorandum from a reputable law firm.

Transaction Methodology

  • Understand the specific requirements based on where the transactions originate from and where the payouts are required.
  • Consider engaging local providers in regions like China or Hong Kong.
  • Be prepared to act as the merchant on record based on the legal framework and requirements.

Transaction Sets (Examples)

Highly detailed Flow of Funds
  • Business A wants to send US$ 30,000 to a Supplier in Chicago:
    Method: Will be using a local cryptocurrency exchange to buy crypto and then send the funds to the local solution provider
    Flow of Funds: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG
  • Business B wants to send US$ 20,000 to a supplier in Miami & CAD$ 15,000 to a supplier in Toronto:
    Method: Nigerian Naira paid directly to Solution Provider (S/P) so that they may do a payout on their behalf
    Flow of Funds: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG
  • Business C wants to send GBP 6,000 to a supplier in London, UK:
    Method: Nigerian Naira paid directly to Solution Provider (S/P) so that they may do a payout on their behalf
    Flow of Funds: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG
  • Business D wants to send USD 30,000 to a supplier in China:
    Method: Nigerian Naira paid directly to Solution Provider (S/P) so that they may do a Payout on their behalf
    Flow of Funds: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG
  • Business E wants to send Euros 15,000 to a supplier in Belgium:
    Method: Business E already has Euros 15,000 equivalent in USDC
    Flow of Funds: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG

All the transactions sets in one: High-Res PDF. High-Res JPG

Fee Structure

  • Businesses should expect a processing fee ranging from 50-75 basis points.
  • Transaction fees as low as 15-20 basis points are not feasible for licensed parties.

Fees for Services

If opting for our services, expect the following charges:

  • One-time Application Fee: $7,500.
  • Optional: One-time Compliance Manual: $25,000.
  • US Sponsorship for Licensing & Banking: $28,000.
  • UK/EU Sponsorship for Licensing & Banking: $14,000 each.
  • China/Hong Kong Sponsorship for Licensing & Banking: $7,500.
  • Rest of the World Sponsorship for Licensing and Banking (with International SWIFT): $12,500.


Nigeria’s cross-border market has immense potential. By ensuring compliance, understanding transaction methodology, and being informed on the fee structure, businesses can legally and effectively tap into this market.

Let’s Move Forward: While challenges exist, with the right input and guidance, success in the cross-border market is achievable. Engaging multiple solution providers can offer balanced backup and risk mitigation.

For any further questions or clarifications, please feel free to reach out.

This page was last updated on July 4, 2023.

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