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Debt Securities

How to invest in treasury bills even if you don’t have N50 million

How to invest in treasury bills even if you don’t have N50 million



Treasury, bills, calendar, Central Bank

Nairametrics| The Federal Government in March 2017 increased the minimum amount required to partake in its biweekly treasury bills auction from N10,000 to N50 million. This announcement means, retail investors can no longer participate in the primary market for treasury bills.

In place of treasury bills, the government introduced the FGN Savings bonds, which offers smaller investable sums but unfortunately does not offer the same lucrative yield as the Treasury Bills. The FGN Savings bond also has a longer tenor being that it is two years and three years, compared to treasury bills that has a maximum tenor of 364 days (one year).

FGN Savings, is also a bond and includes risk of being priced lower assuming you wish to invest in the short-term and sell before the tenor expires. Treasury bills are easier and a simpler form of investing, thus its popularity.

We explained the difference between the FGN Savings bond and treasury bills in the article.

With this new directive, most Nigerians without the financial muscle to invest in treasury bills, find themselves in a state of quagmire. But there is a way out.

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How to invest

Fortunately, you can still afford investing in treasury bills if you do not have up to N50 million. This is because Banks have designed products that pool funds from customers, which they can then use to invest in treasury bills.

[Read more: Nigerian Treasury Bills: Learn everything about Tbills]

How it works

  • Banks can pool small sums of money from their customers into a portfolio that is at least more than the minimum required N50 million.
  • Funds are pooled in line with the tenors three months, nine months and one year respectively.
  • The funds once pooled are invested under a collective fund, owned by the banks on behalf of investors in the pool.
  • They then apply to bid for treasury bills through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Interest earned from the fund is shared equally to all fund contributors based on their individual contributions.
  • For example, if you invested N100,000 in a pool that invested in a 364 day treasury bill that pays 18% interest rate, the bank will pay you N18,000 as your gross interest earned. If your friend also invested in that same pool, but invested N2 million, your friend will get N260,000.
  • Banks will typically charge a fee for this service. The amount charged ranges from bank to bank, so you will have to confirm with your bank what the fee is.

[Read Also: How to choose between investing in bond funds, money market funds or savings bonds]

How do I apply

  • Approach your bank and ask to invest in treasury bills using the pool option
  • They will give you a form and you will fill the amount that you wish to invest.
  • You will also indicate whether you want to buy in the primary or secondary market. They work differently (see explanation below)
  • You will give the bank an authority to debit your account and give the bank fiduciary responsibility invest the fund on your behalf
  • Once done, you submit the form and await a debit alert
  • The next alert you will receive will be a credit alert. If your investment was successful (that is, your pool qualified for subscription via the CBN), you will get an alert of the interest payment. This usually occurs within 3 days of the conclusion of the bid.
  • If your bid was unsuccessful, you will also receive an alert, this time with the full amount invested net any fees or charges from the bank. You will not get interest because your pool’s subscription was unsuccessful.

[Calculate Treasury Bills]

Primary bid

  • Primary bids occur when the bank includes your investment in a pool that is buying treasury bills directly from the CBN.
  • In a primary bid, you buy directly from the CBN via your bank’s pool, for a 91 days, 182 days or 364 days auction.
  • If you decide not to hold to maturity, you can sell your right in the pool to another investor.
  • However, you forfeit interest not earned to your buyer.

Secondary bid

  • You can also invest in treasury bills by buying from the bank or someone in a pool who is not willing to stay through the end of the tenor of an auction.
  • In this bid, you can get between 90 days and 364 days. It can be 60 days, 75 days, 107 days etc. Just whatever is left of the tenor in the pool you bought into.
  • Banks keep records of all buyers, so they are good at working these things out.
  • You can also sell, if you do not want to wait out the investment.

[Read Also: Official: Nigerian Treasury bills calendar for September – November 2019]


Ugo Obi-chukwu "Ugodre" is a chartered accountant with over 16 years experience in financial management, corporate finance and financial analysis. He is also a retail investor and a personal finance advocate with over a decade experience investing in the Nigerian stock market. Ugo is the founder/Publisher of Nairametrics and blogs regularly on the website.



  1. teingo

    May 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I would like to know how interest rates are computed. Assuming one buys for 3 or 6 months tenor, how does the one year interest rate apply? Will it be the same amount for 3, 6, 9 & 12 months temors or the interest for one year has to be pro rated to the number of months?

  2. teingo

    May 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Assuming Treasury bill is bought via secondary mkt will interest be the same?

  3. Anonymous

    May 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Most commercial banks keep customers fund for too long before investing it in T.Bills. The story is that they bid but did not scale through. They earn float income on the funds.


    June 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Honestly I appreciate you works and comments both online and on radio.

  5. Oladele Ebenezer

    June 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    what happens to my T-Bills investment if the commercial bank that helped purchased from secondary market collapsed

  6. Anonymous

    July 26, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    can I apply with 100k

    • Alfred Akuki

      July 26, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Some banks do accept N100,000 as the minimum for their pooling system for Treasury Bills, so, that is a YES!

  7. Bolaji

    October 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    If Iinstructed an Investment Manager which is not a commercial bank to invest my money in treasury bill, how can I be sure that the firm truly invest my money in Treasury bill and not something else with high risk?

  8. Okodugha Odion

    December 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Can a #100,000 be used for my investment on T-bill?

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Debt Securities

DMO offers N150 billion worth of FGN Bonds for subscription

FGN Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria.



Debt Management Office resumes FGN savings bond offer on August 10, Eurobonds, Patience Oniha, DMO, External debt servicing

The Federal Government on Tuesday, 11th August 2020, through the Debt Management Office (DMO), offered for subscription Federal Government Bonds (FGN Bonds) valued at N150 billion.

The FGN bonds are listed in four tranches that include:

  • N25,000,000,000 – 12.50% FGN JAN 2026 (10-Yr Re-opening)
  • N40,000,000,000 – 12.50% FGN MAR 2035 (15-Yr Re-opening)
  • N45,000,000,000 – 9.80% FGN JUL 2045 (25-Yr Re-opening)
  • N40,000,000,000 – 12.98% FGN MAR 2050 (30-Yr Re-opening)*

READ: UBA reports a 13.3% profit increase in audited FY 2019 financial statement

Auction Date: August 19, 2020

Settlement Date: August 21, 2020

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Summary Of The Offer

Issuer: Federal Government of Nigeria (“FGN”)

Units Of Sale: N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N10,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter.

Interest rate: For Re-openings of previously issued bonds, (where the coupon is already set), successful bidders will pay a price corresponding to the yield-to-maturity bid that clears the volume being auctioned, plus accrued interest from the original issue date.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Eurobond yield hit 12.8% as investors flee emerging markets

Interest payment: Payable semi-annually.


Redemption: Bullet repayment on the maturity date.


  1. Qualifies as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act
  2. Qualifies as Government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act (“CITA”) and Personal Income Tax Act (“PITA”) for Tax Exemption for Pension Funds amongst other investors
  3. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
  4. All FGN Bonds qualify as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks

Security: FGN Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria and are charged upon the general assets of Nigeria

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Understanding Bonds: A bond is a fixed income instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower (typically corporate or governmental).

A bond could be thought of as an I.O.U. between the lender and the borrower that includes the details of the loan and its payments.

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A bond has an end date when the principal of the loan is due to be paid to the bond owner and usually includes the terms for variable or fixed interest payments that will be made by the borrower.

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Debt Securities

DMO announces August 2020 FGN Savings Bond offer for subscription

The FGN Savings Bond is backed by the full faith of the Federal Government of Nigeria.



Debt management office, DMO,Nigeria's Debt to revenue ratio, DMO suspends April 2020 FGN savings bond offer

The Debt Management Office (DMO), on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, recently offered for Subscription the August 2020 Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond.

The Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond is an investment product issued through the Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the Federal Government.

The FGN Savings Bond is backed by the full faith of the Federal Government of Nigeria. As such, it is deemed to hold no default risk (Zero-Based Risk).

READ MORE: FG makes U-turn on Eurobonds, says it will issue some more

This is, therefore, to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond offer(s) for the month of August – 2020 has commenced on the 10th of August, 2020. It will close on the 14th of August, 2020.

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It consists of two (2) tenors:

2-Year FGN Savings Bond due August 12, 2022: 3.61% per annum

3-Year FGN Savings Bond due August 12, 2023: 4.61% per annum

Please find below additional information to guide your application:

Unit of Sale: N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000.00 and in multiples of N1,000.00 thereafter, subject to a maximum subscription of N50,000,000.00.

READ ALSO: Nigeria needs $100 billion annually to fix infrastructural deficit – Finance Minister 


Coupon Payment: Payable every quarter with principal repayment at maturity.

Settlement Date: August 19, 2020.

Coupon Payment Date: November 19, February 19, May 19, August 19

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Security: The Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond is backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

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Debt Securities

Debt Management Office resumes FGN savings bond offer on August 10

The DMO assured that the Bond offers were going to resume when the conditions change.



Debt Management Office resumes FGN savings bond offer on August 10, Eurobonds, Patience Oniha, DMO, External debt servicing

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced the resumption of its Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bond Offer with effect from August 10, 2020.

This disclosure was made in a press statement by the Debt Management Office to the general public.

The DMO was earlier forced to suspend the monthly offers of the FGN Savings Bond in April 2020, due to the lockdown and restrictions placed on social and economic activities as part of measures implemented by government to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

READ ALSO: FG responsible for 80% of Nigeria’s N25.7 trillion debt profile 

The statement from the Debt Management Office said:

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“The DMO wishes to announce the resumption of its offer of the federal government of Nigeria savings bond (FGN savings bond) effective August 2020.

“The DMO was constrained to suspend the monthly offers of the FGN savings bond in April 2020 due to the restrictions on activities and movement as part of measures adopted by the government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“The offer for subscription will open on Monday, August 10, 2020 and close on Friday, August 14, 2020.’’

READ ALSO: State Governors parted with N33.9 billion to external debt deductions

The statement also encouraged investors to continue to save through the FGN Savings Bond. This is because FGN Savings Bonds attract good returns and are secure, being a Sovereign instrument. They also contribute to national development.

Nairametrics had on April 4, 2020, reported the suspension of the FGN Savings Bond offer by DMO which was scheduled for April 6 –April 10., due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


The DMO assured that the Bond offers were going to resume when the conditions change.

The DMO, however, noted that the suspension of the April 2020 Offer would not affect Coupon Payments due to investors for already issued FGN Securities, as arrangements had been made to ensure that all Coupon Payments for and redemptions of FGN Securities were made as and when due to investors’ designated accounts.

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