What you need to know about forex trading in Nigeria in 2022
When talking about forex trading, Nigeria and Africa in general are not the first thing that comes to mind. But such dismissive presumptions are not justified by reality. Nigeria is not only the most populous country on the African continent, but also one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the region. Online forex and CFD trading is actually very popular in the country, with Nigeria even surpassing South Africa in this regard.
Despite the activity in this market, however, forex trading is not placed in a formal regulatory framework and is virtually unregulated. This is not to say that Nigeria is like a financial Wild West. Earlier this year, for example, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped in to introduce guidelines for companies offering cryptocurrency trading. The move was the result of a crypto investment boom in the country, which was predictably coupled with an increase in crypto-related scams.
But in terms of forex and CFD trading, the responsibility of judging which broker is trustworthy rests entirely on the shoulders of the trader. Although it carries risks for inexperienced people who are new to forex trading of falling into the clutches of scammers, investors in this country actually have quite an extensive choice of quality brokers.
Being a large emerging market, Nigeria has attracted many industry leading brands. In the absence of a specific regulatory framework, they generally offer their services in Nigeria through their offshore divisions based in jurisdictions such as Belize or Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As a general rule, the retail trader is advised to use the services of duly licensed regulated intermediaries. But in the absence of such a choice, the next best option is a broker with an established international brand.
The desire of these brands to preserve their image drives them to maintain good business practices even in their formally unregulated offshore branches. Many offer offshore clients safeguards such as negative balance protection and segregation of client money from company operational funds, although they are not required to do so.
One of the advantages of global brands is that they offer their clients the latest and greatest trading software. At the very least, a trader can expect access to advanced platforms such as MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), as well as the ability to trade from any device most practice. Competition among major players in the Nigerian market also benefits customers as it leads to more advantageous overall terms.
The most experienced and risk-willing Nigerian traders can also benefit from much higher levels of leverage than allowed for retail clients in highly regulated jurisdictions. Many forex brokers in Nigeria also take advantage of the opportunity to offer bonuses and promotions to clients, which is prohibited for their branches in the European Union, United States or Australia.
Let us see who are the major brokerage brands operating in Nigeria and what they offer their clients.
Although not a ranking, it makes sense to mention FXTM first. It is one of the most established international brands, licensed in the EU, UK and South Africa, and has received numerous industry awards. In Nigeria, FXTM operates through a company incorporated in Mauritius. But the company’s presence in this African country is not limited to the Internet: customers have the possibility of contacting two local offices in Lagos and Abuja.
FXTM allows novice traders to open a micro account for just a minimum deposit of 10 USD. The broker also maintains an extensive library of educational materials. The threshold for the more professional trading accounts, Advantage and Advantage Plus, is $500. These two accounts give the trader the choice of paying the broker either just a spread or a fixed commission, the amount of which depends on the trading volume – i.e. the more actively and on a large scale you trade, the greater the price you pay is low.
The maximum leverage reaches the impressive level of 1:2000 when trading with major currency pairs, but the broker imposes lower limits when the account balance exceeds 50,000 USD.
FXTM clients have the option of using both desktop and mobile versions of the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. This software has been an undisputed favorite of brokers and traders for a second decade thanks to its extensive and advanced automated trading features.
FXTM clients can take advantage of loyalty programs and participate in trading contests for which they can receive rewards. The broker also offers a referral bonus of 50 USD.
Depositing and withdrawing funds can be done with virtually any method – international and local bank transfer, credit/debit cards, a host of popular e-wallets and even Bitcoin.
FBS is also a well-known and award-winning global brand with licensed branches in Cyprus, Australia, South Africa and Belize. The latter is responsible for the broker’s operations in Nigeria, as well as other emerging markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
In terms of trading software, FBS offers an industry standard choice between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, with the addition of their own mobile app, FBS Trader.
However, the broker stands out with a very wide selection of trading accounts covering the needs of the widest possible range of traders. Beginners can open a Cent or Micro account for as little as $1 and $5, respectively. Professional investors can benefit from a Zero Spread Account or an ECN account with an investment of 500 USD and 1000 USD. There is even a dedicated cryptocurrency trading account, which also has a threshold of only 1 USD.
The standard account requires a minimum deposit of 100 USD, but offers a competitive floating spread from 0.5 pips. When Zero Spread and ESP accounts are used, the trader can expect a spread close to zero, but pays a fixed commission of $20 and $6 per lot respectively.
The maximum leverage depends on the account type, with Micro, Standard and Zero Spread reaching the impressive level of 1:3000. Even the ECN account allows trading with a leverage of 1:500, which is tens of times higher than that allowed in Europe or the United States.
The bonuses offered by FBS Nigeria include a “Level Up” bonus up to 140 USD, a 100% deposit bonus as well as a cashback promotion for clients who trade more than 5 lots. Customers can also participate in business competitions with prizes including even luxury cars.
Account funding and withdrawals can be made via Visa, Skrill, Neteller, StickPay, PerfectMoney and wire transfer.
OctaFX is another big name in the industry that offers its services in Nigeria. The main license of this top brand comes from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). In unregulated markets outside of the EU such as Nigeria, OctaFX operates through a subsidiary incorporated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As mentioned, working with an offshore branch means you have to trust the brand completely, but in this case that’s not a problem.
Like its main competitors, OctaFX offers its clients the possibility to use the full capacity of the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms, including the ability to trade copy, which is particularly useful for novice traders who wish to benefit from the insight of traders experienced.
The trading platform is the main difference between the two account types offered by OctaFX. The account for MT5 users is called Smart Trader and the one for those who prefer MT4 is called Habitual Trader. MT5 users also have access to trade with more indices – 10 against 4.
The financial instruments offered by OctaFX are relatively few and clearly focused on cryptocurrencies. The broker offers to trade 30 cryptocurrencies and only 35 fiat currency pairs.
In this regard, it is worth noting the very high leverage offered for crypto trading – 1:25. By comparison, clients of a broker’s Cyprus division can trade crypto assets with a leverage of no more than 1:2. The maximum leverage for forex trading is 1:500.
Both accounts only have a recommended minimum deposit of $100 and promise competitive spreads starting at 0.6 pips.
OctaFX also offers a 50% deposit bonus and holds regular trading competitions in which outstanding traders receive various prizes. If you have referred other clients to OctaFX, you receive rewards based on their trading volume.
As you’d expect, Octa offers a very wide choice of payment methods, ranging from local banks, established e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller, to a host of cryptocurrencies.
Another easy to recommend broker is FP Markets. The group of companies behind the brand are licensed by respected regulatory bodies such as CySEC and the Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). In markets like Nigeria, the broker operates through a company registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
FP Markets offers two types of accounts to all of its clients – Standard and Raw, through which over 60 currency pairs, commodities and indices can be traded. With the Standard account, the client pays a single spread from 1 pip. As the name suggests, the Raw account offers raw spreads starting at 0.0 pips, coupled with a commission of 3 USD per side per lot.
Both accounts can be used with both MT4 and MT5 platforms. The software is available on all major desktop operating systems, mobile devices, as well as in browser version.
FP Markets clients in Nigeria can, as expected, benefit from higher leverage than those in Australia or Europe – up to 1:500. The minimum deposit is 100 AUD or equivalent in another
The accounts have an included benefit in the form of a virtual private server, which allows automated trading scripts to be independent of the trader’s personal hardware.
A significant difference between FP Markets and most of their competitors is that their offshore company does not offer bonuses and promotions. However, this is compensated by the favorable trading conditions and the large amount of educational materials and programs.
The list of payment methods is impressive. In addition to standard options such as credit cards, local and international bank transfers and e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller, FP Markets allows account funding through a large number of local providers as well as with the Broker-method. to-Broker.