How to start saving and investing in Nigeria
Learn about a few savings and investment options in Nigeria, from mutual funds, to fixed deposit accounts, to Cenoa.
A note: Please kindly note that Cenoa does not provide investment, tax, legal or accounting advice; and this material has been prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult your own advisors before engaging in any transaction. You can find detailed disclaimers on Cenoa’s website.
The investment landscape in Nigeria in 2023
With over 220 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and it’s currently going through economic challenges like much of the world.
Investors in Nigeria — young and old, new and established — are no strangers to economic turmoil, with two recessions in the last eight years and a heavy reliance on the export of oil. Though the country saw a strong period of growth in the early 2000s, today there continue to be high levels of economic challenge and unemployment.
Even so, investors in Nigeria are looking to find ways to grow their wealth. With a population that’s one of the youngest in the world, with 42% of citizens under the age of 15, Nigerians are looking for investment opportunities that can help secure a better future.
What new investors in Nigeria need to know
Starting to invest in Nigeria? There are three major elements that could impact your strategy. For all investment decisions, consult with a trusted financial advisor.
The Naira is facing local currency depreciation
The Naira has fallen to record lows this year, meaning that the savings accounts of everyday Nigerians have shrunk in value.
Nigeria is experiencing inflation
Like many other places in the world, Nigeria is dealing with severe inflation, with an inflation rate of over 22% — compounding the issues caused by currency depreciation.
Political changes are impacting the economy
This year, Nigeria elected a new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who will have a full plate of economic challenges to contend with: record-high debt levels, double-digit inflation and a weakened currency, and depleted exchange reserves. He will also have extensive work to do to relieve insecurity, curtail police brutality, and reduce inequality.
Types of investments Nigerians can consider
Mutual funds or ETFs
Mutual funds and EFTs are groups of stocks, bonds, and money market instruments that help investors in Nigeria make lower-risk investments. Because the investments are sold as a group, they’re inherently diversified. Talk to a trusted financial advisor about mutual funds in Nigeria to learn what’s available and affordable to start your investing journey.
Fixed deposit accounts
A fixed deposit account is a type of investment account offered by some banks in Nigeria. It’s a type of savings account that allows members to deposit a certain amount within a certain period, and enjoy a higher interest rate than typical savings accounts.
Though it sometimes experiences fluctuations like any other commodity investment, buying physical gold can be a good, relatively recession-proof investment — and gold has recently grown as a more prevalent investment in emerging countries. However, being a physical commodity, it is susceptible to theft. Alternatively, investors can buy funds that are tied to the value of gold.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange
Buying individual stocks through the Nigerian Stock Exchange is a riskier investment for Nigerian investors. Investing in one company at a time means all your investment capital will be tied up with the fate of the company, and if economic hard times hit the company, your investment will tank too. If you do take this route, check the Nigeria Stock Exchange price list on a regular basis and be ready to pivot if needed.
It’s generally challenging for young investors to buy real estate these days, but Nigeria is one of many countries where extended family living situations are relatively common, allowing families to support one another and pool resources. Globally, people are chipping in with extended family to go in on real estate investments like a communal house. Also available in Nigeria are REITs, or real estate investment trusts, that let people invest in income-producing real estate like commercial or multi-unit apartments.
Cenoa, a DeFi super wallet with 5% annual yield on USDC is a new way for investors in emerging markets to grow their wealth sustainably. The Cenoa app stores your funds as digital dollars, always on par with USD, meaning your savings will be safe from local currency depreciation — with no fees, ever, and you can withdraw at any time.