How to Pay your School Fees Abroad from Nigeria

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In pursuit of academic excellence in countries other than Nigeria, one may be faced with many issues. One of the toughest is this issue of paying full or part of one’s tuition/school fees from Nigeria here. 

Actually, there are many ways to pay your school fees to your school abroad while in Nigeria. Most students whose schools are in Austria, the USA, UK, Ireland, China, India, Canada, Europe, Australia, and so on would likely be paying their tuition in US Dollars.

In this short but precise article, we will just select the 3 most convenient and most secure ways. Whether you are seeking to do your undergraduate (B.A, B.Sc, etc) or postgraduate (Ph.D., M.Sc, PGD, etc) study abroad, these options below are accessible to you.

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Best Ways to Pay your School Fees Abroad from Nigeria

1. Through the Use of CBN e-Form “A” Website (www.tradesystem.gov.ng)

This method is enabled by CBN and commercial banks. The CBN allocates and disburses a certain volume of foreign currency to all banks, and other approved institutions weekly. Then they are instructed to sell the foreign currency at authorized prices to Nigerians who genuinely need it.

Only a few classes of Nigerians qualify to use Form A for foreign remittances. You only qualify to use this method if you’re:

  • Paying for school fees abroad
  • Traveling abroad for medical reasons
  • Paying for training abroad
  • Paying foreign mortgage payments
  • Traveling abroad on a return ticket (PTA & BTA).

This is how to pay school fees through the new CBN website:

Step-by-step guide on how to pay your school fees abroad with e-form A using CBN Website (www.tradesystem.gov.ng):
  1. Fund the source account with an estimate of the Naira value of the school fees. The source account could be yours (the student) or a sponsor. It is this account that will be debited for the transaction to pay your school abroad.
  2. Visit the CBN’s Trade Monitoring System Portal
  3. Register with your BVN (individual) or TIN (organization)
  4. An OTP will be sent to your registered email.
  5. Verify your email
  6. Login and choose Educational Fees
  7. Fill the necessary fields
  8. Upload the required documents
  9. Submit

Once you submit, a prompt is sent to your preferred bank who reviews the transaction and processes it further. This process is subject to the bank’s availability of FX. Read all about this process here.

List of documents required to process the school fees payment abroad through Form A:

Making this list here is very important to ensure that you carry the correct documents to the bank. Here is the list below:

  1. Your valid international passport
  2. Admission letter
  3. Invoice from the school abroad containing the school account/IBAN number
  4. WAEC result (for undergraduates school fees payment) or first degree certificate (for masters students)
  5. Sponsor’s identification document (if the student is paying through a sponsor) e.g. int’l passport, voter’s card, driver’s license, or NIN.

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The only downside about this method of paying school fees abroad using CBN Form A is that the processing time is highly subject to the bank’s FX situation. Typically, payment of school fees to your school abroad is around 1-2 weeks.

2. Source for Foreign Currency (FX) and Pay from your Domiciliary Account

Paying directly from your domiciliary account is the most seamless method to pay your school fees abroad from Nigeria. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to pay your school fees abroad from Nigeria using a domiciliary account:

  1. Source for your own US Dollars, Pounds, Yen, Euros, and so on from the parallel market (aboki or otherwise). 
  2. Once you have the hard currency, go to the bank and deposit the money in the account. Make sure you have enough balance to cover the transfer charges and fees.
  3. Then, raise the transfer instruction from your online banking app or by filling a transfer form directly to the school.

The good thing about this method is that the school abroad receives your payment within 1 business day.

3. Via Payment Agents

Some businesses actually thrive on solving this problem. Paying your school fees abroad from Nigeria using an agent (Nigeria or abroad) is also very fast. Although there are a lot of fake agents who would just take your money and vanish, there are also many agents who can assist.

This method is that it’s a bit too risky because of the involvement of a third party.

Conclusion

For me, I think the best method is through Form A because it is cheaper and very secure. You will be debited for the transaction at the bank’s rate only. Banks are not allowed to charge you for any other service. The second one, too, is okay but would be a bit more expensive.

47 Comments
  1. Andy says

    Frankly this is a very frustrating system. I believe I have a strong password.But ut keeps returning “invalid credentials”.How else does one proceed?

    1. Gbenga says

      “Invalid credentials” implies that you are inputting a wrong detail. Remember your username is your email while your password should be alphanumeric with special character(s).

      I’ll advise that you reset your password.

  2. JAY says

    Thank You. This helped a lot

  3. Teresa says

    Why does it say invalid BVN

    1. Gbenga says

      You probably entered an invalid BVN

  4. Freedom Uruejoma says

    Hi,
    My son has been trying to get his school fees paid; the issue is that his phone number is not coming up in the form. He was at the bank to get his details updated on his BVN account, and he was told told that in 48 hours, his phone number will reflect on the form. This is over 48 hours still waiting. Who can he speak to? He has been calling the number on the website and has no response.
    Please help.
    Kind regards

    1. Gbenga says

      Hi Freedom,

      The issue is a possible glitch from the portal.

      1. Add his phone number to the editable ‘address’ field e.g. “LAGOS/08034..”. This ensures that the reviewers can actually view the phone number, not just in its appropriate field.
      2. Upload a copy of your BVN slip as part of the documents to prove that the phone number is, indeed, linked to BVN.

      Being a customer of the bank, I’m sure an exceptional approval can be made for your transaction.

    2. Anonymous says

      Pls, I need your guide. Have gone to my bank to link my email with my bvn this morning and since been trying to register but it’s saying my email is not found with the bvn. I’ll appreciate response.

      1. Gbenga says

        You’ll wait 24hrs for the email to reflect. If after that, you still get same error, let the bank know.

  5. Damilola Sedara says

    Good day,
    Thanks for the thread, it’s helpful.
    I keep getting the error message unable to verify BVN. Any idea on what might be wrong.
    Thanks

    1. Gbenga says

      Thank you Damilola.

      The portal’s likely going through a downtime. You should try later.

  6. Ikenga says

    How long does it take to pay the school fees via the trade system after getting approval in the portal. I got an email saying my AF has been approved. I am paying to a school in UK. Thank you

    1. Gbenga says

      Hi Ikenga,

      Now that depends on the FX situation in your chosen bank. However, it usually does not take more than 1-2 weeks.

    2. Anonymous says

      please how long did it take before your AF was approved

  7. Chibuzor says

    Please I have been trying to upload my documents but is not going through they are saying File too large maxi file size is 2mb I have even done it to 2mb still the same thing please I will be grateful if I can find an assistance here

    1. Gbenga says

      You need your documents to be below 2mb for the portal to accept them. Clear cache, restart the device/browser and retry to submit.

    2. Anonymous says

      please how long did it take before your AF was approved

  8. Jumoke says

    Hello Mr Gbenga
    Please i have an issue
    I filled the form A already and it has the status: disbursement supervision, then the note under it says rejected insufficient fund….do I need to start another application and how do I know the exact amount that should be in the account ….can you help with that? Thank you

    1. Gbenga says

      Hello Jumoke,

      Please start a new application. Ask your bank for their exchange rate, which is generally at about N414/$ currently (est./confirm) and fund your account sufficiently. Regards,

      1. Jumoke says

        Thank you so much

      2. Taoheed says

        please where will log in and upload my credentials ?

        1. Gbenga says

          Please refer to the article. Thank you.

  9. Patrick Onwordi says

    I have completed the form A online and submitted, but i am not getting any feed back. How do I get the AF number that I will send to my bank? Because I did not take note of the AF number when I was filling the form on line.

    1. Gbenga says

      1. Login
      2. Go to Form A
      3. Select History

      Get your AF-number for follow-up

    2. Oladimeji says

      Still at disbursement reviewer since over a week now

  10. Oladimeji says

    Since over a week now my status on the trade system has been on stage 2 all approved from my zenith bank branch but yet to receive debit alart from CBN only my bank has debited 8k for e- form charge but still at stage 2 how does it take again is more than a week now

  11. Oladimeji says

    Since over a week now my status has been at stage 2 yet to receive any debit from CBN is only the 8k debit for the form I was charged but my status still says disbursement reviewer and am at stage 2

    1. Gbenga says

      Contact your bank for an update.

  12. Ikenga says

    I got approved on the cbn trade system portal, I went to the bank to follow up, two days later my account was debited for the Naira Equivalent of my tuition fee. This is about N2mil. Now how do I get a telex copy to send to the school as evidence that I have paid my tuition. I went to the bank and was told I will get an email with the telex copy but this is over two weeks now and yet no email. How do I get the telex copy Madam?

    1. Gbenga says

      Contact your bank for your telex.

  13. Onuma says

    I have been trying to create an account, and it says an OTP is being sent to my email , And my email pops up as the correct email I am to receive the OTP but still don’t get the OTP what could be the issue and what can I do , I have been on this for weeks now and can’t seem to get past this stage.

  14. Daniel says

    I was debited 5000 naira for Form A fees, does this means that my application has been approved from my bank? I am yet to be debit the the naira equivalent from my account.

  15. Evarister says

    I can’t get my branch on the system.

    1. Gbenga says

      I’d suggest you choose the nearest

  16. Oladimeji says

    They have debited me from my account equivalent to my Naira for days now but yet to get Telex and I have been going to bank no avail what will I do now because I need to give my school evidence of payment

    1. Gbenga says

      The telex will be made available by your bank once the fund is completely transmitted. Keep contacting your bank for the telex.

  17. Ranti says

    Please can I initiate more than one transaction. I need to pay for two of my sponsors, the first one has been approved by the Bank.

    1. Gbenga says

      I don’t understand the question. Please re-phrase.

  18. Ayos says

    Which option should I select in the payment mode section? Telex or Swift or T&T Electronic Transfer.

    1. Gbenga says

      Telex or swift

  19. Ayos says

    Are there any charges I will incur from the bank for this transaction apart from the initial #5000 declaration payment for form A?

  20. Ayos says

    Will I incur any other charges from the bank for this transaction apart from the initial declaration payment of #5000 for form A?

    1. Gbenga says

      If you’re paying school fees/medicals, yes. You will still have to pay the transfer charges.

      For PTA/BTA, no.

  21. Biodun says

    Hello
    I submitted a form A application for fees payment and got this email after
    Your application is currently on the queue of the processing bank for validation.
    You will get an email notification when your application is validated and ready for disbursement, then you can go to the bank branch you selected for disbursement.
    It’s more than a week and I still haven’t gotten a response. What can I do?

    1. Gbenga says

      Contact your bank with your AF-number

  22. Henry says

    Hi, the phone number on my trade portal is not correct, what should I do will it affect my payment approval. If I proceed with it?

    1. Gbenga says

      Hi,

      The applicant’s information on the TRMS portal mirrors what you have on BVN. So who’s number is there then?

      Update the phone number on your bvn before moving on.

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