NIGERIAN Exchange (NGX) Limited has urged investors to leverage its new Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform for enhanced capital market access.

NGX stated this at its Investor Education Series, partnered with Meristem via a Zoom meeting with the theme, ‘Unlocking Potential: Leveraging USSD for Enhanced Capital Market Access.’

Speaking at the event, Head, Trading and Products of NGX, Abimbola Babalola, stated that the NGX USSD platform is a technology that allows mobile phone users to access a variety of services by dialing a short code (*5474#) on their phone keypad, saying that the NGX USSD platform is a new and innovative way for investors to access real-time stock market information and connect with a stockbroker.

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According to him, the product is designed to boost financial inclusion and market participation in Nigeria by providing investors easy access to price information of listed companies and connecting them with Trading License Holders.

He further said that “what we are doing at the exchange is to put investors at the driver’s seat of their investment. Gone are those days when you buy securities and you go to sleep, or you have to start reading newspaper or wait for news to know what is happening to the stocks. So, this time around, you have a device that you can use to monitor your stock at any time.”

Babalola added that investors’ education is key and this is what the products will address.

The Head, Investment Advisory at Meristem Stockbrokers Limited, Temitope Oludimu, said Meristem Securities has been in the industry for over two decades, growing her clients’ wealth and enhancing their financial wellbeing.

She noted that the stockbrokers subsidiary of the Group provides easy access to online brokerage accounts allowing clients to monitor trades in real-time via MeriTrade and the first online stock trading platform in Nigeria commenced in 2014.

Oludimu added that “MeriTrade allows users to buy and sell stocks online through the Nigerian Stock Exchange from the comfort of their home, office, car and even on the go.

“The platform defines stock broking in entirely different language and creates a world class experience, bringing your broker (electronically) to the comfort of your home and office.”

The panel session speaking on the theme for the event emphasised the importance of investors’ education in the capital market.

Afeez Ramoni, Head, Data and Digital Innovation, NGX, stated that the public can now conveniently receive market information and commence account opening process through their mobile phones by dialing *5474#.

This marks a significant stride in NGX’s commitment to democratising access to investment opportunities and promoting retail investors participation through digital channels for accessing the capital market.

He anticipates that the USSD short code, *5474#, will enhance market accessibility and contribute significantly to the broader financial inclusion landscape in Nigeria.

Martha Ibrahim of NGX Group said that financial inclusion is really about inclusivity and creating access to financial services to investors.

She stated that this is really important for a vibrant capital market and also the country’s economic development in general.

According to her, with the coming up of the initiative, integrating USSD with NGX, we also understand the importance of technology as a key financial enabler for financial inclusion. We are simplifying access to the stock markets and reducing barriers to entry. This would also promote a significant increase in the level of financial inclusion we have currently within the capital markets.

“By leveraging on this investor education and simplifying access to the markets, this validates that NGX is on the right step towards driving financial inclusion within the Nigerian capital markets.”

Also, Oluwatobi Adesanya of Meristem added that “we cannot overemphasize the need for financial literacy in the Nigerian capital market.”

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