21 November 2018

Nigeria: Oscar Nwokeji - From Boardroom At 12 to Wealth Creation At 22

In May 2013, Time Magazine in one of its editions described millennials as entitled, lazy and narcissistic in its cover story titled The Me Me Me Generation. Though the report principally was aimed at highlighting how millennials are shaping this age, it underscored the terrible sides of millennials. However, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Wissen Consult, a forex trading firm, Oscar Nwokeji is proving that most millennials, especially in Nigeria, are a generation of creative optimists who are succeeding in a country that has been in economic and political turbulence since they were born. Nwokeji leads a team of young men who are creating wealth with creative thinking.

Early days

I am from Oru East Local Government of Imo State. My greatest motivator and mentor was my father. My mother is a medical doctor who works in the casualty department. She was not always at home. We didn't see her some nights and afternoons when we were growing up. However, a statement my father made while I was growing up changed my life. My father was an entrepreneur and computer scientist. He had partnerships with Imo State government in the early days of computer and was a successful businessman. He inspired me by asking if I wanted to end up like my mother, who didn't have time for her kids.

He also asked if I wanted to sit down and create ideas that could lead me to success. It made me sit up and I decided early in life that I was not going to work for anyone. He kindled my creativity. When we started employing people in our company, one of the major criteria was creativity. We asked our prospective employees if they were creative or just structural persons. Those were our criteria, because we didn't want people who would just sit and wait for instructions to become productive. My father was creative and I learned creativity from him. He never had a boss. My mother is still a workaholic, who does everything. Having hardworking parents was an inspiration to me.

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Stop complaining

My father even took me to boardroom meetings. During one of the boardroom meetings I attended with him as a 12 -year-old boy, I took note of one of his employees who was always giving excuses. I became irritated with the excuses the employee was giving for not doing his job and I had to tell the person to just do his job and stop complaining. My dad was surprised at my reaction but I just knew at that age that excuses don't justify failure. I am the Chairman/Executive Officer of Global Wissen Consult. I have been trading for many years. I just finished my training session with Phoenix Trading Academy, London. I came back a few months ago to open the first trading academy in Africa.

Monthly allowance from home

When I was in school , I hated waiting for my allowance to come from home monthly. I tried trading but it was not working well for me,because of limited knowledge. The idea that I can make it by trading even as a young man inspired me. Today, I will say that I am climbing the ladder of success. We are in a country where young people are very creative. All they need is to be guided on the right career path. Some, who are even making it through illegal means should see what we offer as an opportunity to embrace a legitimate source of income that will pay them more than illegal work. We are here to encourage young people to push their dreams by trading forex. Even if they don't want to do it as a profession, it could successfully be done on the sidelines and they will make money. Our mentality in Nigeria is that except one is connected, the person cannot make it at a certain age but the forex market is so big that one does not need to be connected to get involved.

Something creative

The idea is to make forex trading a profession so that people will wake up every morning and go to work as a forex trader. People do it in London and the US but no one does it here.The first firm I worked with was Samuel and Co, the biggest trading firm in London. What attracted me was that he was just 25 years old and a successful trader who has an academy in London. He's my mentor, because I studied him while I was at his academy and learned a lot. Every single person in his office was young. There was an instance when someone who wanted to be an entrepreneur joined his company at 18. The person just decided that he needed to start something creative that could make him successful in life.

I'm inspired by young people coming up with creative ideas whenever we hold boardroom meetings. When I was establishing the academy, I opted for a young team that would always brainstorm in the boardroom. It's about thinking out of the box to be able to grow. Every person I met while trading in London inspired me to establish the academy here to be able to inspire a lot of talented Nigerians. I am very happy that many young people are interested in what we do.

Successful people

The internet also motivated me into forex trading, because I started seeing a lot of successful people and wanted to be like them. When I met them, I said we needed to bring forex trading to Nigeria, because it's a business that yields money for the traders. Those who are into it in London are their own bosses and I love the entrepreneurship life they live. I just felt it was important to bring it to Nigeria where a lot of people are enterprising but lack opportunities to become entrepreneurs.

Training, empowering people

I tried to learn forex trading before traveling to London where I learned it at Phoenix Trading Academy. What people do in Nigeria is to convene a forex seminar where they just teach people for three days and give them certificates after collecting money from the people. They don't train participants properly, because they themselves don't have good knowledge of forex trading. What they are doing is just to make money but a lot of people don't understand what they are doing. We are mentoring everyone that comes to our academy. Our intention is to make sure those who come to us are empowered with the knowledge that will make them successful forex traders. After the training, we will empower participants with N500,000 each to start trading and when they make profits, it will be shared with the company. Training and empowering people makes us stand out from others.

Give more value and expect less

When we launched the scheme, we got some reactions from the public who wanted to know more about forex. The fears about forex are as a result of ignorance, because we are professionalising the trade. My friends in London who are involved in it, do it as a profession. One of them, who has three children, is also coming back to Nigeria to teach Nigerians how to make a living through forex trading. People don't really know much about the financial market in Nigeria. Of course, there are times when people lose money. That is why we teach Risk Management in our academy. We teach people about risk and equip them with the knowledge that will prevent them from losing more than one percent of their capital in the event of failure.

Apprehensions in the trade are informed by ignorance but I believe we should be able to teach Nigerians how to trade. I don't believe getting Nigerians to fully embrace it can happen overnight but I believe we can achieve it by being consistent in the market. What we are doing is to give people value. I believe if anyone wants to give value, he should be willing to give more than what he expects from people. That is why we are offering some free courses. The people we train will be able to tell others that there is value in forex trading. That is how it will be done until many Nigerians see trading as a profession.

Learn from us

We don't touch our client's cash. We have an official broker in Nigeria, Lite Forex. The firm has been in Nigeria since 1990. We are not forex brokers but we're retail traders and anyone who wants to be a forex trader will trade on the platform of forex brokers. This explains that we don't touch our client's money. We don't collect their money unless the person wants to learn in our academy. It is just between our client and the brokers but we prefer Lite Brokers, because they are our official brokers. Our clients should do background checks on any broker of their choice who has spent like 20 or 40 years in Nigeria, trade with them and give us their login details. Our clients own their accounts, we are just account managers. We trade for our clients, but if they want to trade for themselves, we teach them how. Our clients can open an account with any broker in the world and give us their accounts to manage for them.

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