AuthorBy Jeffrey CammackAuthor InformationUpdated: October 27, 2020

Trading with online Forex brokers is legal in Nigeria, but the government does not supervise the Forex industry.

The regulation of Forex brokers in Nigeria should be the responsibility of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). While the SEC does post warnings about Forex scams and fraudulent brokers, it does not actively regulate the Forex industry.

Until the SEC starts regulating Forex brokers in Nigeria, we advise that traders use respected and internationally regulated brokers. Some of the best Forex brokers offer trading accounts in Naira and have dedicated Nigerian customer support departments. 

Best Forex Broker in Nigeria

English

Best Forex Brokers in Nigeria

Last updated on 27 Oct 2020
Updated 27 Oct 2020
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Sweden
1
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Min. Spread
0.9 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
REGULATED BY
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.9 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
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With over 200,000 active traders around the globe, on both the MetaTrader 4 and AvaGo platforms, and the award for Best Trade Execution 2016 by the African Finance Expo, AvaTrade is a good partner for all types of trader. AvaTrade has built its reputation on being a client-focused, dependable broker, and continues to add to that reputation with the recent addition of AvaProtect to its product lineup.

With great trading conditions across Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, and equities and boasting FSCA and ASIC regulation, AvaTrade is competitive with some of the best brokers in the world.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited education
Read More About AvaTrade
2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.234.23
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Fx Pairs
59
REGULATED BY
11110.54.23/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. FXTM Group regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA and FSC.
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FXTM is regulated by the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA in South Africa and the educational material offered is first-class. By keeping the focus on beginners looking for reasonable trading conditions, the FXTM team of educators and analysts have succeeded in creating a welcoming environment for new traders. Additionally, FXTM are one of the few brokers with 24/7 support, allowing new traders to get set up on weekends or holidays.

For the absolute beginner, FXTM has a great deal of training material to help new traders get started. Materials include articles, videos, webinars and a searchable glossary of new vocabulary. This is an excellent resource and many hours can be spent covering the basics of Forex Trading. There is an additional set of videos that cover analysis topics, and more detail on chart reading techniques.

FXTM has an open “Daily Market Analysis” section on their website where research analysts post bulletins that connect daily news items with analysis and actionable trading ideas. This can be combined with other sources to achieve a more comprehensive view of global events and the trading opportunities they represent.

The Standard Account has a minimum deposit of 100 USD and spreads start at 1.3 pips. FXTM also offers a Cent Account where the minimum deposit if only 10 USD but the spreads will be wider. If you can afford it, I would recommend starting with the Standard Account.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
Read More About FXTM
3
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.384.38
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Fx Pairs
57
REGULATED BY
11110.54.38/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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XM Group has achieved substantial growth since 2009, earning 1.5 million clients living in 196 countries. Regulated by three major regulators and the recipient of many industry awards, XM Group stands out from a crowded field of market maker brokers for their customer service and educational support.

XM Group has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the global financial markets. XM’s operational philosophy is aimed at client satisfaction and low client turnover; they earn client loyalty through award-winning 24/5 personal customer service, varied account types and competitive trading conditions.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
Read More About XM
4
FXCM
Min. Deposit
USD 50
4.134.13
Min. Spread
Variable pips
Fx Pairs
39
REGULATED BY
11110.54.13/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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FXCM has been a global Forex and CFD broker since 1999 and are regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA in South Africa.

One of the major advantages of FXCM for beginner traders is the quality of the educational material they offer. FXCM offers eBooks on Forex basics, trading strategies, trading habits, the FXCM’s proprietary Trading Station platform, and how to identify potential trading opportunities on the market. FXCM’s extensive video library is organised into different categories that span from how to make deposits, to more advanced trading topics like order types that help traders manage risk in trades.

Like most of their competitors, FXCM ZA uses webinars to teach Forex trading – these are exclusive webinars for South Africans and hosted by Russell Shor, the Senior Analyst for FXCM’s South African team. Having a dedicated education section for South Africans is extremely rare and is one of the greatest advantages to using FXCM ZA. Moreover, FXCM ZA runs free workshops in Pretoria and Johannesburg on a monthly basis.

FXCM has a standard demo account and a single live account offering. The demo account has 5000 USD virtual money and expires after 30 days of inactivity. The standard account is commission free with a minimum deposit of 50 USD

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited demo account
Read More About FXCM
5
easyMarkets
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.244.24
Min. Spread
0.9 pips
Fx Pairs
103
REGULATED BY
11110.54.24/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Founded in 2001, easyMarkets (then easyForex) was one of the first online brokers. Regulated by ASIC since 2003, CySEC since 2007 and the FSA since 2020, easyMarkets states their values as simple, honest and transparent which are reflected in their industry recognition – recently being awarded the Best Trading Platform and Most Transparent Broker awards in 2017 from FX Empire and Forex-Awards, respectively.

easyMarkets has always innovated, introducing tools like negative balance protection and guaranteed stop loss back in 2001 – these tools are now industry standards. Their innovation has continued with the unique Freeze Rate and dealCancellation tools, both intended to support new traders and keep trading transparent and simple. In 2018, easyMarkets won the Most Innovative Broker 2018 at the World Finance Markets Awards, a further sign that they are respected as innovators among their peers.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
  • Limited account options
Read More About easyMarkets
6
HotForex
Min. Deposit
ZAR 70
4.294.29
Min. Spread
0.0 pips
Fx Pairs
51
REGULATED BY
11110.54.29/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Listed as on the Top 100 Companies by World Finance Magazine and the award for Business Excellence 2015 (World Confederation Of Businesses) HotForex is not just recognized for their integrity by their industry peers, but also in the financial industry as a whole.

As an STP broker regulated by multiple major international organizations including the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA, HotForex has built a reputation among traders for achieving a stable, fair, secure and transparent trading environment for both the beginning and expert level trader.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
Read More About HotForex
7
Exness
Min. Deposit
USD 1
4.124.12
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Fx Pairs
120
REGULATED BY
11110.54.12/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Founded in 2008, Exness is a well-regulated broker with tight spreads and unlimited leverage on a specialist zero account.  With both market and instant execution methods and full support for both MT4 and MT5, there is little to find fault with here – including its well-publicised sponsorship of Real Madrid.

Exceptionally, customer service is available 24/7 and most traders will find something to like from the wide range of account types.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
  • Unavailable in Europe
Read More About Exness
8
CM Trading
Min. Deposit
USD 250
3.383.38
Min. Spread
1.5 pips
Fx Pairs
47
REGULATED BY
1110.503.38/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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CM Trading is a well-regarded South African broker, regularly cited as the largest in the country, and headquartered in Sandton, Johannesburg.

CM Trading is a market-maker, but offers competitive spreads and is a good choice for new traders due to their great educational material and the CopyKat copy-trading system. Maximum leverage is 200:1 and both MetaTrader 4 and Sirix Webtrader platforms are available, allowing for some flexibility.

Customer service is generally excellent and, while deposit and withdrawal costs are high, many customers will find comfort in working with a good local broker.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Great customer support
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Local regulation only
Read More About CM Trading

How we choose the best Forex Brokers in Nigeria

Though most brokers might appear to be similar at first, they are quite different once you dig a little deeper. To make an effective comparison, our research team judges every Forex broker by the same standards. This makes it easier to spot the poor-quality brokers and makes it easier for you to compare them. The main areas we look at are:

  • Regulation: Your funds will only be safe with properly licenced brokers
  • Cost: What kind of fees you will be charged by a broker
  • Trading Conditions: How a broker’s business model will affect your trading experience
  • Customer Support: How well does a broker treat its clients who need help
  • Trading Platforms: What kind and how many trading platforms does a broker offer

We also look at a few other things, but these are the most important to consider when choosing a Forex broker. We will go through each of these areas in more detail and then jump into a few FAQs.

If you have any questions after reading through this guide, please get in touch with us in the comments at the bottom of the page or via our contact page.

1. Regulation: How to Avoid Scam Brokers

The single most important aspect of judging a Forex broker. Regulation ensures the security of your funds and offers protection against fraud, broker manipulation and broker bankruptcy.

Simply put, having a regulated broker is not optional.

Some traders believe that unregulated brokers are rare, but sadly this is not the case. Unregulated brokers will often claim to be regulated, so you should always check what they say is true. We know that unregulated brokers like to contact people on Facebook and via messaging apps, so be especially careful if this happens.

Checking a broker’s regulatory status is a similar process for all the major regulators and only takes a couple minutes (and could save you a lot of money and heartache!)

In this section we will have a brief look at the most common regulators in the Forex industry and how to find out if a broker is regulated. Once you are finished reading this section you will be able to check if a broker is licenced with all the following regulators:

  • The South African Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA)
  • The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
  • The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)

South African Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA)

The South African FSCA is well-regarded but is not considered one of the best international regulators. Many Nigerian traders like to work with FSCA regulated brokers as this provides local protection and requires the broker to have a local office and local bank accounts.

Checking if a broker is regulated by the FSCA is easy. The FSCA offers a search tool for all authorised Financial Service Providers (FSPs) here: https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm.

This is what the search window looks like:

FSCA Search

The best way to use this search function is to input the brokers FSP number, which they are legally required to display at on their website.

For instance, here is Khwezi Trade’s FSP notice and number at the bottom of its webpage:

KhweziTrade FSP

You will notice that Khwezi Trade is not the name of the Financial Services Provider regulated by the FSCA, but is actually Khwezi Financial Services. This is quite common as brokers are often part of a larger financial company. It does mean that searching by broker name using the FSCA’s search tool can be quite tricky, so use the FSP number if you can.

Using this information from Khwezi Trade’s website we can then search the FSCA database. Here we can see that Khwezi Financial Services is indeed an authorised FSP:

KhweziTrade FSP Entry

We can also see that Khwezi Financial Services is approved to offer derivative instruments. This is important as all Forex CFD trading is derivative trading.

Khwezi Products Approved

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)

The Australian financial regulator has an excellent global reputation and is continually active in combatting broker fraud and manipulation. Many of the most respected Forex brokers in the world are Australian, and ASIC is an important part of their reputation for trustworthiness.

Checking a broker’s regulatory status with ASIC is a very similar process to the South African FSCA’s, the ASIC search tool can be found here: https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/.

Unfortunately, detailed information on each company in the ASIC database is only available via purchase. See below for Pepperstone’s ASIC entry:

Pepperstone ASIC Entry

Like the FSCA, all ASIC regulated brokers are required to publish their ASIC licence on their homepage. We have had a few reports of unregulated brokers claiming to be based in Australia and using the names of regulated financial companies, so it is always best to check thoroughly.

UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is seen as the best financial regulator in the world. It’s no surprise that their search function is the easiest to use and the most thorough, you can access it here: https://register.fca.org.uk/s/.

Like other major regulators, all brokers with an FCA licence are required to publish their FCA reference number on their website, here is AxiTrader’s FCA number at the bottom of their website:

AxiTrader FCA Number

Like Khwezi Trade in South Africa, AxiTrader is the trading name of a larger financial group, in this case, the FCA licence holder is AxiCorp Limited. Using the FCA reference number, we can search the FCA’s database of registered companies and find AxiCorp Limited’s entry:

AxiTrader FCA Entry

Notice that the FCA also warns of unregulated brokers that are attempting to use AxiCorp’s identity to scam unwary traders.

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)

CySEC is the foremost regulator in the EU and Cyprus has a long history of regulating online Forex brokers. As a European regulator, all brokers with a CySEC licence must abide by the EU’s MiFID II legislation. Among other things, this requires limits on leverage and the removal of trading bonuses.

CySEC’s broker search tool functions much like the FCA’s and all CySEC licenced brokers are required to publish their licence number on their website. CySEC’s database and search tool can be found here: https://www.cysec.gov.cy/en-GB/entities/investment-firms/cypriot/

Below, we can see the entry for AFX Capital Markets, which went bankrupt last year and is suspected of several wrongdoings, including using client money to cover operational costs.

AFX Capital Markets CySEC Entry

CySEC make it clear that AFX Capital Market’s licence has been suspended. A clear sign not to trust a broker.

Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The financial market regulator in Nigeria is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This body regulates the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the bonds market and the operators within the equity trading industry. Nigeria’s financial markets are not as robust as you would find in the Western world. Short selling is not permitted, and the SEC has not made any moves to regulate the Forex market or other exotic financial trading products. Rather, it has been content with providing disclaimer warnings to the public, asking them to only invest in markets approved by the SEC and only to trade with money they can afford to lose. You might by now be building the picture that there is a huge regulatory lacuna in the Forex industry in Nigeria.

Other Regulators

There are many other small regulators around the world, and Forex brokers will hold licences with them to avoid the restrictions placed on them by ASIC, CySEC and the FCA.

Commonly seen small regulators include the Seychelles FSA, the Mauritius FSC, the St Vincent and Grenadines FSA, the Belize IFSC and the Bahamas SCB. While being regulated by one of these smaller regulators does not mean that a broker is bad, it does mean that traders are not as well protected.

The best and most trustworthy brokers are regulated by at least one of the three major regulators (FCA, CySEC, ASIC) or the FSCA. It is common for brokers to have multiple regulators, one for each region in which they operate. A good example of this is FXTM, below is a screenshot from the bottom of their website:

FXTM Regulation

We can see that FXTM and its subsidiary companies are regulated by CySEC, the FSCA, the FCA and the Mauritius FSC. This allows FXTM to offer its services to traders all over the world.

IOSCO Investor Alerts Portal

There is one final tool which you might find useful. The International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) maintains a list of every investor warning issued by every regulator in the world, and this is available here: https://www.iosco.org/investor_protection/?subsection=investor_alerts_portal

This list contains a huge number of entries so the easiest way to search is using the keyword option, see below:

IOSCO Search

We recently had a question from a trader regarding a broker called RedfordFX, they had contacted him out of the blue and he was suspicious. So, let us run a search for this company using the IOSCO keyword tool.

IOSCO RedfordFX

As you can see, the CNMV (the Spanish financial regulator) released a warning about RedfordFX on August 3, 2020. Obviously, not a broker to trust!

If you are concerned about a broker for whatever reason, do check this database before you part with any funds.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Trade Forex?

Forex trading is famously low-cost, but Forex brokers still charge fees for their services. The most obvious fee is the spread (the difference between the buy and sell price) and some brokers also charge a commission per trade. But brokers also charge rollover fees, and some charge deposit and withdrawal fees. Finally, there is also the minimum deposit to consider.

To have a good idea how much it will cost you to trade with a broker you will need a clear understanding of these fees and how they will affect your profits.

The Spread

The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of a currency pair and is measured in pips (the smallest amount by which a currency can change). The lower (or “tighter”) the spread, the less of your own money you will be spending when you trade.

All good brokers will publish their spreads for all the currency pairs they offer. A good example is AvaTrade’s product information sheet below:

AvaTrade Spreads

Here we can see that AvaTrade’s spread on the EUR/USD is 0.9 pips. Avatrade also publishes the exact buy and sell price for each currency pair as well as the daily change in the price of each currency pair. You will also see the leverage and margin listed, which we will discuss later.

Now that we know what AvaTrade’s spreads are, let us have a look at IG Markets’ spreads so we can compare the two.

IG Markets has floating spreads which means that they can get lower or higher (“tighter” or “wider”), depending on market movements.

IG Markets Spreads

IG Markets also presents us with more information than AvaTrade did, but the figure we are interested in is the Average spread (00:00-21:00) for the EUR/USD.

We can see that the average spread on the EUR/USD for most of the trading day is 0.86 pips, not much of a difference with the 0.9 pips at AvaTrade. But we can also see that sometimes spreads are as low 0.6 pips, which is quite a gap. What we can say from this research is that both AvaTrade and IG Markets are good brokers with tight spreads.

When researching a broker, you want to make sure that they publish their spreads and that the spreads are low for the currency pairs you want to trade. If you find a broker that does not publish its spreads, or does not publish its spreads in detail, you should be instantly suspicious.

Brokers that do not publish their spreads often have something bad to hide and brokers with wide spreads are often just greedy.

Brokers with wide spreads or unpublished spreads are marked down in our reviews.

Commission

Another fee that brokers can charge is a commission per trade. Known as ECN brokers, these brokers provide direct market access and will have incredibly low spreads (sometimes as low as 0 pips). The commission varies between brokers, but the cost is usually between 4-7 USD per 100,000 USD traded.

Some brokers will offer both standard accounts (with no commission and a wider spread) and ECN accounts (with a commission and a tight spread).

A good example of this is Tickmill, let’s have a look at their account types:

Tickmill Commission

As you can see, the Tickmill Classic Account charges no commission, but spreads start at 1.6 pips. But the Pro Account has spreads starting from 0 pips (no difference between the buying price and selling price) but commission is charged at 2 USD per side per 100,000 traded (2 USD for opening the position and 2 USD for closing the position, so 4 USD in total).

If you decide to trade with an ECN account, you will want a low commission (like Tickmill’s above) and an average spread close to 0 pips.

ECN brokers who charge more than 7 USD total commission and have average spreads over 0.3 pips should be avoided and we mark them down in our reviews.

Rollover Fees

The rollover fee or swap rate is a small fee charged by brokers for holding a trading position overnight and is usually charged at 17:00 EST (New York time). This fee is based on the interbank interest rate for each currency in a currency pair. Sometimes these interest rates can work in your favour and you will gain interest on your position rather than be charged by the broker.

All brokers will charge rollover fees, they are an inescapable part of trading and can only be avoided by opening and closing your trades on the same day.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

The best brokers will charge no fees for deposits and withdrawals, and the worst brokers use them as major cash-making operations. Instead of charging a flat fee, some brokers will charge a percentage of the amount, which can get expensive if you are planning on making large deposits and withdrawals.

Most brokers will charge no fees for transactions via online payment systems like Skrill, Neteller or Ozow. Credit and debit card transactions are also often free, but bank wires will usually be charged by your bank for both deposits and withdrawals. 

One of the best Forex brokers when it comes to deposits and withdrawals is FxPro. In the screenshot below you can see that FxPro charges no fees for deposits and withdrawals – though processing times vary depending on the method.

FXPro Deposit and Withdrawal

Beware of brokers who charge large amounts for withdrawals. The most infamous example is eToro, who used to charge 25 USD for every withdrawal. They have now reduced this to 5 USD per withdrawal, but this is still expensive compared to eToro’s competitors.

eToro Withdrawal Fees

When you are looking for a new broker, always make sure to check the fees for deposits and withdrawals for your preferred payment method. Just because a broker charges fees does not mean that they are bad, but it is always something to be aware of.

Brokers that charge high fees or take a long time to process withdrawals are marked down in our reviews.

Minimum Deposit

Aside from the fees listed above, most brokers will also require a minimum deposit to open a live trading account. For some brokers this will be R70, for others, it may be R1500 or even R3000 where larger deposits unlock improved trading conditions. 

A good example of this improvement in trading conditions with higher minimum deposits is the HotForex accounts structure:

HotForex Accounts

As you can see, with each increase in minimum deposit there is some benefit. From Micro to Premium you have can have more simultaneous open orders. From Premium to Zero Spread you have a sharp drop in the spread and another increase in open orders.

What level of minimum deposit you are comfortable with is a very personal choice.  But it is unfair for a beginner trader to be expected to part with large amounts of money to open an account when they are just starting out.

We do not mark down brokers for having accounts with higher minimum deposits, but we do think it is important for beginner traders to have an account that is not too expensive to open. 

3. Trading Conditions: Not All Forex Brokers Are Created Equal

Apart from the spread, there are several other trading conditions which will affect your trading experience. One of the most important to consider is the leverage offered by a Forex broker.

Leverage is how much you can borrow from a broker to make a trade; this is a risky but necessary aspect of Forex trading. Leverage also directly affects the margin, or the amount of your own money you must risk when opening a trading position.

Other trading conditions to consider are the broker’s execution method and speed, the base currency of your trading account, what assets are available to trade and whether scalping and hedging are allowed.

Leverage: Risky Business

Leverage is money borrowed from your Forex broker to increase the size of a Forex trade. Leverage is essential in Forex trading because the movements of the market are too small to make a decent profit unless you place thousands of dollars on each trade.

Leverage is always presented in a ratio format, such as 30:1, 100:1, 300:1, etc. With 300:1 leverage if you put 10 USD of your own money into a trade you can borrow 300 times that amount and your actual trading position will be 3000 USD.

While this does mean you can make large profits with little investment, it also means that you can quickly lose more than your original investment.

You are still personally responsible for the full amount of your trade (all 3000 USD of it!) and if you cannot cover your losses, the broker will take any unused money in your trading account to do so. If this is still not enough to cover your losses, you may end up owing your Forex broker money, unless they offer negative balance protection.

In the example below, we can see the amount of leverage OctaFX offers changes depending on which account you have and which asset you are trading. Notice that cryptocurrencies have exceptionally low levels of leverage, this is because they are so volatile that the risk involved is extremely high for both the trader and the broker.

OctaFX Leverage

Because using high leverage significantly increases risk, some regulators like CySEC and the FCA now restrict leverage to 30:1 in Europe and the UK. Brokers in the EU and the UK are also required to offer negative balance protection.

In Nigeria there are no restrictions on leverage and negative balance protection is not mandatory, so it is important to be careful. Always check with your broker that they provide negative balance protection before you start trading.

Maximum leverage varies among brokers. When you are thinking about signing up with a broker, you want to see that they offer enough leverage to make Forex trading profitable, but not so much that it is dangerous. If a beginner trader opens an account with 5 USD and 1000:1 leverage, it is likely they will lose all their money very quickly.

There is a fine line between sufficient and excessive leverage and the best brokers will restrict high leverage to experienced traders or those with larger account balances. A good example of this kind of responsible behaviour is Blackstone Futures, a South African Forex broker with a track record of supporting their traders. At Blackstone Futures, maximum leverage for new traders is 100:1, and will only be increased after a trader has a history of responsible trading.

Execution Speeds and Execution Methods: Market Makers vs ECN and STP

Execution speed is how fast a broker will place your trade and is often linked to execution method. Many brokers will offer instant execution, thus preventing changes in price while your trade order is processed (slippage) or the rejection and return of your trade order (requotes).

Brokers who offer instant execution are known as market maker brokers. When you trade with a market maker broker, they do not place your trade on the Forex market, but instead, act as counterparty to your trade. While there is a conflict of interest in this business model (because when a trader loses, the broker profits) market makers take their prices from the large banks and regulation prevents them from manipulating market data.

Brokers who offer market execution are either ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers or STP (Straight Through Processing) brokers. ECN brokers operate as a hub for a network of liquidity providers and will automatically find the best price for your trade from the members of their network. STP brokers have more control over which liquidity provider to use and generally have faster execution speeds. Some market execution brokers are hybrid ECN/STP brokers, though this is rare.

All types of market execution brokers can often suffer from both slippage and requotes, especially in times of high market volatility or low market volume. The best market execution brokers have invested in expensive infrastructure and have multiple liquidity providers to prevent this.

One such is broker is XM, an STP broker famous for its high-speed execution. XM never offers requotes, despite offering market execution only:

XM Execution Policy

While we do not mark brokers down in our reviews for their execution method, we always mention it as many traders have a strong preference for either market execution or instant execution.

Base Currency: USD or NGN?

The base currency, also called trading account currency, is the currency that your money in your trading account will be held in. The most common base currency is the US Dollar (USD). Many brokers will also offer Euro (EUR) or Pound Sterling (GBP) accounts too.

Some brokers have a wide range of base currency options. The Micro Account at IronFX has no less than 11 base currencies to choose from:

IronFX Base Currencies

But in Nigeria, one of the questions you should ask is whether a broker offers the Nigerian Naira (NGN) as a base currency.  Very few brokers will have NGN as a currency, but as more local African brokers emerge and enter Nigeria, this will be an aspect that will set brokers apart.

The advantages of having NGN as base currency in Nigeria are:

  • You will not have to pay any broker conversion fees when sending money from your local account
  • You will not have to pay any conversion fees that your bank or credit card may charge when making a fund transfer or withdrawal
  • Brokers with NGN accounts usually use Nigerian bank accounts, so withdrawals and deposits are much faster and often happen instantly.

While we do not mark brokers down in our reviews for not having NGN accounts, it is something we will highlight as we know how important it is for Nigerian traders.

Naira Forex Brokers and Naira Forex Accounts

It can be notoriously difficult to source foreign exchange in Nigeria. The sale of Forex to individuals is tightly regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which arbitrarily fixes the amounts that can be sold to regulated Bureau de Change operators without prior notice. Also, the CBN has set reporting standards that require banks to report to the National Financial Intelligence Unit, any transaction deemed suspicious. The process of documentation and the bureaucracy behind the process has driven many frustrated Forex traders to the parallel market, where foreign currencies are sold at premiums of up to 25% of the official exchange rates.

Some of the Forex brokers in Nigeria have taken the initiative to allow their clients to fund their accounts in Naira. This has been so successful that any broker that offers the Naira funding option is now regarded generally as the best Forex broker in Nigeria. Naira accounts have removed the entire bottleneck associated with foreign currency operated accounts. They have also made it easier for traders to calculate their risk and returns.

Trading Assets: It is not always about Forex

In principle, the number of currency pairs you could trade is only limited by the number of currencies in the world. The reality is that most Forex brokers only offer a small portion of these. But it is important that a Forex broker offers you a real choice. A good Forex broker will offer at least 50 different Forex pairs to trade.

Many Forex brokers are also multi-asset brokers, especially the larger ones. This means that you can also trade other financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies, equities, commodities, precious metals, indices, and bonds.

We think that a good Forex broker should have 50+ Forex pairs to trade and those that have less will be marked down in our reviews. We also mark down brokers who do not offer at least a few other financial instruments to trade.

Hedging and Scalping

A Forex scalping strategy is where a trader seeks to profit from rapid price changes in a short period. Scalping opportunities are usually created when significant unexpected news events happen, or when the equity markets open. A scalper, a trader who employs a scalping strategy, enters and exit trades several times a day, and closes all trades on the day they were opened. Not all brokers allow scalping, but those that do must have fast execution.

Hedging is protecting yourself against adverse price movements that would affect open trades and is a form of insurance. Direct hedging is a common strategy, where a trader buys a currency pair and then sells the same pair at the same time. Not all brokers allow hedging on their platforms, but most market execution brokers do.

4. Customer Support

Having a Forex broker with great customer support is crucial. It is one of those things that you hope you never need; but when you do need it, it must be easily available, fast, and genuinely helpful. When your money is on the line, you need your problem fixed as soon as possible.

The best Forex customer support will be available 24 hours a day (Monday-Friday) via live chat, telephone, messaging services and email. It is also important that a broker has great IT support, as setting up a trading platform can be tricky for new traders. Many new traders cannot find the time during the workweek to get set up, so weekend support can be invaluable but is rare.

Nigerian traders also value having local customer support – not least because some local customer support teams can assist in Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fula. 

Aside from local customer support, we also highly rate brokers that offer 24-hour support and weekend support.

5. Platform Choice

Brokers will always offer you a trading platform to access the Forex market. Some brokers have their own software, but many use programs like MT4MT5 or cTrader that you can download to your computer or mobile phone.

One of the brokers with the widest range of platforms is IC Markets, which offers MT4, MT5 and cTrader across all devices:

IC Markets Platforms

MetaTrader 4 is the most common Forex trading platforms however, its older interface and complex setup make it less accessible to beginners. MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, on the other hand, have a more modern interface and are easier for beginner traders to set up.

If you are an experienced trader with a particular software choice in mind, or if you are a beginner seeking to learn more about platform options, we have put together a list of the best Forex trading platforms for traders and the brokers that support them.

All brokers have mobile trading apps, and some will have developed proprietary apps, but a vast majority rely on the MetaTrader app for IOS and Android.

We know that Forex traders value choice and when we judge brokers, those with a full range of platforms will be rated higher in our reviews.

6. Other Things to Consider

So, we have looked at Regulation, Fees, Trading Conditions, Customer Support and Platform Choice – but there are a few other things to think about when choosing a broker.

  • Brokers for Beginners: Some brokers are better than others for beginners. The best brokers for beginners will have clear and practical educational material, insightful market analysis and top-notch customer support. Some brokers will also offer one-on-one training, live webinars and real-world seminars.
  • Demo Accounts: It is important for beginner Forex traders to also have a demo account that will not expire, so you can be completely comfortable with the market and the trading platform before you start trading with your own money.
  • Swap-Free (Islamic) Accounts: Islamic accounts, or swap-free accounts, are an optional trading account type which allows Forex traders to be compliant with the principles of Sharia law. In Sharia law interest is prohibited, so swap-free accounts do not pay or earn overnight interest (rollover fees) on open positions.
  • Managed Accounts: Some brokers will operate a managed account for you, but this is rare. There are independent money managers who can manage your account while they are trading for themselves. It is vital that you read our article on managed accounts and understand the minimum deposit requirements and additional risks involved when trading CFDs.

FAQs

What is the best Forex broker in Nigeria?

The best brokers in Nigeria are AvaTrade, FXTM and XM. AvaTrade is a great all-round broker with low fees and tight spreads. FXTM is trusted by thousands of traders across Africa and has a great range of account types. XM is the best overall broker, with great customer support and education for new traders.

I am a beginner trader, what should I look for in a broker?

As a beginner trader, choose a broker with an unlimited demo account, as this will give you the opportunity to practice before making a deposit. Limited demo accounts usually expire after 1-3 weeks, which is not enough time to learn how to profit from CFD trading.

Beginner traders should get educational support when starting, and each broker varies significantly in what material they provide. The minimum you should accept is some general videos and articles, but some brokers have invested in creating small trading universities that include video material as well as live webinars hosted by experts.

Each of our reviews has a section on the educational content to help beginner traders decide the best path forward.

Which is the best Forex brokers for beginners?

The Forex broker for beginners is XTB.  Customer service is available 24/7 with both one-on-one mentoring and dedicated account managers provided for new traders. Educational material is excellent and is presented via XTB’s Trading Academy, which is both well-structured and clear. Finally, minimum deposit requirements are low, and spreads are tight.

How do you trade Forex in Nigeria?

To trade Forex in Nigeria you will need a trustworthy Forex broker, which you can find here at TradeForexSA. Before you start trading, you should open a demo account with the broker so you can gain experience with the Forex market and with the broker’s trading platform. Once you have gained enough experience you will need to deposit funds with the broker via bank transfer or a payment system like Ozow or Neteller. Once your live account is funded, you will be able to start trading.

Is Forex trading legal in Nigeria?

Yes, Forex trading is legal in Nigeria, and Nigerians are free to trade with any Forex brokers of their choice.

How do I know I can trust a Forex broker?

Four things should be considered when determining if a broker may be trusted – regulation, trade execution method, client funds management, and industry recognition of their achievements.

The more major regulators the broker group is regulated by, the more oversight the group has. The number of regulators overseeing their processes gives a strong indication of the level of trust the government regulatory agencies have in them.

The execution method of trades is another component because if the broker profits from your loss – as is the case with market maker brokers – this can be seen as making the broker less trustworthy.

This is more of a concern if fewer major regulators regulate a market maker. Therefore, a heavily regulated market maker is considered more reputable than one with lesser regulation. It is noteworthy that some market makers have strong reputations and lots of client resources.

Most regulators require strict processes to keep client funds safe. This process includes placing client funds in segregated accounts at major banks in the local jurisdiction. Segregated bank accounts that are audited every evening means that client funds are protected against any bankruptcy.

Industry awards are given to brokers from journalists, financial watchdog organisations and their peers. While it can be argued that these award ceremonies are biased, they remain the best gauge industry recognition.

Do brokers trade against you?

If the broker is a market maker, then they are the market and will be trading against you by being the counterparty to your trade to create the liquidity you need. Since a vast majority of trades by retail traders are lost, a market maker is making money in most client trades. DMA brokers do not have any conflict of interest and do not trade against you.

How do brokers make money?

Market Makers will make money only from the spread – the difference between the buying and selling price of the currency pair. Since a Market Maker will become the counterparty to any trade, they will also make money when clients lose trades.

DMA brokers will make money from a tight spread and a commission, which is calculated on a per lot amount.

How to deposit with a broker?

Each broker is going to have different deposit methods, but all will have a deposit by credit/debit card and bank transfer option. Most brokers will also accept Neteller or Skrill, which are favoured by many traders because deposits and withdrawals are instant and usually free.

Some will accept regional payment methods, but local deposit methods have not yet been adopted in Nigeria. On occasion, brokers will accept Bitcoin deposits, and PayPal in addition to standard currency.

Which broker should I choose?

Traders have different requirements of Forex brokers, and thus there is no single best choice. This is how we compare them, and we offer insight into your choices. At the top of this article, there is a list of those that we believe are the best brokers for traders based on their reputation, platform, trading conditions and resources available to beginners.

How can I report scam brokers?

If you believe you have been scammed by your broker, the first thing to do is warn others and tell your story.  We have a report a scam broker form which we use to gather information so that we get the word out.  If you have been scammed, please complete the form.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Rating & Review Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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