From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
A financial technology (FinTech) company, Equity, has beamed searchlight on Nigerian financial industry and the benefits of online trading. It also disclosed moves to revolutionise the country’s FinTech space as well as plans and strategies to get three million Nigerians into financial literacy.
Its Country Manager, Equiti, Mr Emmanuel Okwara, explained that global financial market comprises so many assets ranging from currencies, stocks, the Euros, the UK and the US stocks and precious metals like gold, commodities to agricultural products like cotton: “When it comes to online trading, we want to provide education for people to learn how to trade profitably.
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“Apart from training people to trade, we are also providing a platform whereby we have a lot of software that can help make trading easy and smart. We are providing financial literacy, because we’ve come to discover that it is quite unfortunate that despite our population, Kenya has more percentage when it comes to financial literacy than Nigeria.
“We are the first to secure a license from the capital market authorities in Kenya. We hope to expand by opening offices in Lagos and Port Harcourt. And we’re also hoping to have operations in South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and other African countries. Well aside from Africa, we have a presence in the UK. We also have an office in Jordan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apart from that, we have a presence in Florida, America and in Asian continent.”
He said Nigerians have huge appetite to participate in the financial market: “Nigeria ranks high among countries that participate in online trading. He explained further that the company teaches people to know how and when to buy and to sell.
Also, we have a lot of brokers in Nigeria and to be honest, we felt that there’s a gap. People need to understand how to trade profitably.
“People need to understand that this trading can be a skill and you can learn it and do it yourself. We have training in the office both online and offline everyday and it is free. It is open to everybody from 18 years and above. We need the private sector to come in with a lot of programmes to help people and this is financial empowerment is the best approach.
“We want to change the narrative because the government cannot do everything for us. That is the truth. If you look at it technically it might be true, you might feel offended. But let’s be honest, that is the truth. Inflation rate is going up and the economy is not really doing well.
“With Equiti, you can trade Euro against the United States dollars, the Turkish lira and pounds. When we talk about forex, it is the buying and selling of currencies in a globally decentralised market.
“Apart from trading currencies you can trade precious metals like gold and silver, gold, agricultural produce like grains, cotton, rice, coffee and cocoa and many more in the market. You can also trade crude oil.
“Right now, everybody knows the price of oil is going up based on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. You can take advantage of that and also make profit. All the way to last week oil prices were going up and people were buying in the markets making huge profits.
“It will interest you to know that you can also trade stocks. A lot of us chat on Facebook not knowing that you can trade Facebook stocks, I know that for instance, Tesla is going up, Zoom is going up Alibaba or Amazon is going up. You can trade those shares on the platform and make profit. All these are different assets that can be traded on the platform that we have provided.
“If you’re a beginner, you can schedule if you want the training online or offline. It takes place every day. If you are in Abuja and you have the chance to come to the office for training from 2pm to 4pm.
“On our platform, you can start trading with $5. That’s like N2,500 but I will advise you to start bigger, like with $100. If you’re a beginner, you want to learn how to trade. If you fund that $100, I will not advise you to start trading because you don’t know what to trade. You only need to fund to secure the 30 per cent bonus that we are giving.
“If you are to open a live account, we usually ask for a valid government issued identity card just for verification. And once the account is approved, you will be assigned to an account support manager. The account support manager is to assist you get active.”
Okwara said the company’s integrity and the global licenses it acquired were enough to douse any apprehension over the safety of people’s money: “We don’t trade for people. We provide a platform for you to trade and we teach you what to do. The money is in your trading account, and we don’t have access to your account because the password and login data is sent to you, not to us.
“We need more help from the government to have this partnership to reach more Nigerians. We need the media too. Instead of a lot of negative stories, why not also report something positive that will benefit the people.
“Are you not tired of giving somebody your money and the person runs away? But here, you have control and access to your money. We have affiliations with Nigerian banks that you are not giving money to us. You are only funding that account. We need this message to go out for more Nigerians to know that Forex is not a scam.
“The government should regulate the forex business in Nigeria. There are a lot of bucket shops out there that take people’s money and disappear. If this business is regulated, it will curb all this ‘madness’ in Nigeria.
“Imagine Kenya and East African countries have regulatory bodies that regulate the business. If Kenya can do that, Nigeria can also do the same. Regulation should come to sieve out the chaff from the grains.
“Another piece of advice if the government cannot provide jobs, it should look for those sectors or those organisations that have the capacity to help out. Just work with them to grow and increase employment or reduce unemployment.
“We’re not telling you to give us money, but give us the support by getting the news out there and let people come and get trained. The government owned televisions should also help us in subsidising the rates for us to come to the stations and speak about online trading.”
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