tl;dr: Buy foreign exchange from within Nigeria by paying for it in Naira and have access to the US Dollars / Euros / other currencies outside of Nigeria to be traded/transferred as and when one desires.
Nigeria is a new import economy, so that means the demand for foreign exchange to be spent outside of the country remains a great opportunity and one in which the need to get access to foreign exchange and then be able to trade it or spend it at other places for business or consumer purchases is very high.
I’m a huge fan of seeking opportunities within difficult markets and Nigeria is no doubt a difficult market. B2B2C (Business-to-Business-to-Consumer) is one of the most profitable markets if you can figure out a niche to work in.
B2B (Business-to-Business) is also a very strong sector that is slowly seeing a lot of movement and growth. In both cases, B2B2C and B2B, I’m strictly talking about cross-border payments.
The problem can be broken down into two areas:
- Access to foreign exchange from within Nigeria, i.e. access to US Dollars, etc. outside of Nigeria, by paying for them with Nairas.
- Taking the foreign exchange and using it to buy/trade with the ROW (Rest of the World).
Whilst it looks overly simplistic, the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria have placed limits on the amount one can transfer, how money is remitted into the country, and how netting off can (or cannot be done). This places a heavy burden on the demand for dollars, such that, the open-market (or curb rate) that the premium for access to foreign currency plays havoc with profits and provides a market ideal for money changers, and dealers, but one that is subservient to the high-rates as put out by the open market, which it makes it less than ideal to do business with.
So, if you can solve for access to foreign exchange from within Nigeria, without the high-premium, whilst at the same time, being legal (both within the Nigerian and international laws), you have a solid market opportunity to rake in a large segment of businesses who are looking for such a solution.