Facilitating Stock Market Participation in Nigeria
People have considered online fraud a major problem in Nigeria for a long time now. One popular online scam, known as a 419, is to send an email, letter, text or social media message wherein the sender offers the recipient money. The offer includes a request to help transfer money in exchange for a monetary reward. Although people now practice this scam worldwide, it originated in Nigeria.
As a result, many Nigerian stock investors have a difficult time opening stock accounts. Part of the account opening process involves selecting their nationality. Oftentimes, once they select Nigerian, they flag the account without opening it. One way people try to boost their assets is by investing; however, this effectively cuts Nigeria off from the world stock markets. Nigerians continue to face exclusion from the rest of the world and its stock markets. Of African countries, Nigeria makes the most from its movie and entertainment industry and is the top in the continent. It has also become a popular place for venture capital activity and the creation of startups.
Increasing Stock Market Participation in Nigeria
Since Nigerians are not able to open a stock account on these trading platforms, Chaka created a new platform. Chaka has a design to meet Nigerians’ needs; however, it is also open to everyone. It enables Nigerians to participate in foreign stock markets, including those in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia. One of Chaka’s drivers is to break down global investment barriers that block Africa from the rest of the world. This makes it easier for foreign investors to invest in Africa and vice-versa.
The platform works in partnership with DriveWealth, where Nigerian investors receive an affordable way to invest in stock markets with fractional shares. They only need an email to sign up and they start with a minimum of 1,000 Naira (or $10 USD) in their digital wallet. They can then begin investing in over 40 countries and over 4,000 assets, including major companies such as Google and Apple. Local trades cost 100 Naira and global trades cost $4 USD. Although the exchange rate of the Naira does fluctuate often, Chaka solves this problem by converting it to USD. The rate is set at 9 AM and continues until 2 PM for all transactions.
Security and Regulations
Chaka is locally and internationally regulated and provides bank-level encryption for all data and transactions. A local brokerage firm provides regulations, working with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) and Nigeria’s Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC). A U.S. brokerage firm that follows the regulations of the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and SEC provides international regulations. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protects all website traffic and keeps all transactions confidential.
Currently, many Nigerian stock investors are looking for foreign investment opportunities to maximize potential profit. Chaka has become the go-to trading platform for Nigerians, causing its user base to skyrocket. Chaka already has between 1 and 2 million users, a number which is growing daily.
Chaka’s future plans include branching out to other investment products from its app, such as mutual funds, fixed income products and cryptocurrencies. In a five-year partnership with NASDAQ and Airtel Africa, it will be upgrading its platform to include more listings and improve digitization. It has also received an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, but it has not provided the exact amount.
Chaka has also partnered with DriveWealth, a company that provides Chaka with the access that it needs to U.S. markets, as well as a series of digital products. DriveWealth also allocates Chaka with some of the best technology for Nigerian stock investors to use in international trading. Thus far, the merging of the two technologies has been simple. Further, Chaka believes the partnership will last for a while. Another organization that plans to help Chaka is Citi Investment Capital Limited (CICL), which is a local stockbroking firm that can make brokerage transactions easier. In return, Chaka has assisted CICL with improving its digital products. These combined efforts will aid the country in accessing foreign stock markets and provide more opportunities for stock market participation in Nigeria.
– Nyssa Jordan
Photo: Wikimedia Commons