Post Views: 75 Ms. Mary Uduk, acting director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Wednesday in Lagos assured that implementati...
Ms. Mary Uduk, acting director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Wednesday in Lagos assured that implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan it launched in 2014 is already contributing to the growth and development of the Nigerian capital market, and by extension, the economy.
Ms. Uduk, who spoke at the opening ceremony of a two-day international capital market conference held in collaboration with the University of Lagos, Akoka, said that the market still has enormous that it can contribute to the Nigerian economy.
According to her, “the capital market can serve as a key catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as it offers a credible platform for obtaining long- term financing. As we all know, long-term and affordable funds are required for businesses to thrive and in turn contribute to employment, growth, and development.
“Beyond the capital market’s contribution to economic growth, we aim at the larger goal of economic development. Added to increased production, the latter entails advancement in the quality of life and living standards of citizens in areas such as improvements in literacy, health and life expectancy, better savings/investment culture, financial inclusion, as well as improved wealth distribution, housing, and environment.”
Capital markets across the world, she continued, have fashioned products and mechanisms that can stimulate economic growth and development. Many of those products, she assured, are available in Nigeria.
The Nigerian capital market, she stressed further, has aspects that are waiting to be tapped, and which have limited the realization of the nation’s huge growth potentials, which gave birth to the master plan.
The plan, Uduk told participants at the conference, “has over 100 initiatives to springboard the Nigerian capital market as one of the world’s deepest and most liquid, as well as the largest in Africa by 2025.
“It is also aimed at ensuring that the market contributes much more to the socio-economic development of the nation, particularly in facilitating capital-raising for sustainable development and transformation of key sectors,” she said.
She said the successes recorded from these initiatives notwithstanding, the SEC recognises that much more still can be done for the Nigerian capital market to contribute its desired quota and take its rightful place in issues and discussions of Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
“As we move into the future, we need to continuously embrace innovation in the way we carry out our market operations and regulation. Financial innovation is germane for the conception and delivery of a dynamic industrial society. Market participants and regulators have to continually familiarize themselves with the rapid ever-changing economic, regulatory and business environment.
“Beyond the conventional capital market products of equities and bonds as well as manual regulatory processes, the players and regulators in the Nigerian capital market are introducing new and innovative processes and products.”
Uduk noted that some processes in the Nigerian capital market that were previously manual and inefficient are now being automated, including completion of the dematerialization of share certificates (making them paperless). Investors, she continued, no longer need to worry about the loss or damage to their physical share certificates which are now electronically stored.
Furthermore, she said the current e-Dividend system enables shareholders to receive their dividend directly through their bank accounts, without the stress associated with waiting to receive dividend warrants from the post office, and then taking them for lodgment in their banks.
She also noted the Direct Cash Settlement that protects investors from funds mismanagement by ensuring that the proceeds of share sales are credited directly into investors’ personal bank accounts.
Uduk stated that while the current initiatives and efforts are to improve the process and ensure a better future, there is the need for more innovations by the regulator and operators, for the country to prepare the capital market for the dynamic future.
The future, he told the gathering, “belongs to those that are currently adopting relevant technologies and other improvements for efficiency.”
Also speaking at the event, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state government is interested in the growth and development of the capital market.
Represented by Dr. Shamsudeen Allison, Director, Special Duties Office, Sanwo-Olu said the event is strategic in promoting business and development in the state.
Also speaking, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Unilag, Prof Oluwole Familoni said the conference is a good forum to discuss and proffer solutions to some of the problems being faced by the investing public and also an avenue for Nigerians to learn more about the Capital Market.
Familoni expressed hope that at the end of the conference, the Capital Market will be better positioned for the development of the economy.
Photo caption: Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk and Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe at the opening of a two-day international conference on the Capital Market held in Unilag, on Wednesday in Lagos.