Be Innovative, Prepare To Regulate Dynamic Capital Market, Finance Minister Tells SEC Board

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Wale Edun, on Monday in Abuja urged the new board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to embrace innovation and better prepare to regulate a dynamic capital market.

Edun who spoke while inaugurating the board in Abuja expressed excitement at the composition of the board and urged the members to put in their best, be courageous, bold, open to innovation and be willing to accept the challenge of regulating new areas.

Financial technology and communications, he said, are areas fast advancing, and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, digital currency among others, there is a need for the regulator to be knowledgeable to be able to provide guidance and necessary approvals.

According to him, “The top minds go into finance, they go into technology because in the basic industries the technology is simple, whether it is steel making or basic manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods etc. Those are settled technology. The area that is advancing at a fast pace is financial technology, communications, artificial intelligence, crypto, digital currency, digital transitions as a whole.

“Therefore, you do have to be on your toes.  The good thing is that when a transaction comes, it has to be discernible, understandable to the end investor, it has to be understandable to the issuer, it has to be understandable to the regulator or it won’t get the approval it needs, so that is one comfort I see about the financial market.”

According to Edun, the new board must be willing to accept the challenge of regulating in these new areas particularly crypto as they are fast moving complex area, adding that they also have to watch out for regulatory arbitrage where a company with a portfolio of huge sophisticated transactions now comes and takes the lowest level of registration that they can just so they can say they are licensed and regulated.

“You have been carefully selected for this role, ensure top notch corporate governance practices. Where there are conflicts, they are quickly identified, disclosed and dealt with according to global best practice. Do not be stumbling blocks to people awaiting processes and approvals”, he added.

Also commenting, Chairman of the SEC Board, Mairiga Katuka assured the Minister that the new Board will harness their individual and collective expertise, innovation and passion to drive growth in line with the Commission’s dual mandate of developing and regulating a capital market that is fair and efficient.

The board, he assured, “will pursue a comprehensive agenda aimed at advancing the interest of investors safeguarding market integrity, promoting capital formation and enhancing regulatory oversight.

“The nation’s future economic outlook appears positive, driven by reforms put in place by the current administration including robust inflation management, social protection, macroeconomic stability initiatives and improved private sector development. These initiatives would undoubtedly engender economic growth,” Katuka stressed.

He stated that in line with the renewed hope agenda of the current administration, he is optimistic about the future of Nigeria’s securities market, adding that together with diligence, integrity and a shared sense of purpose there is hope of a more prosperous and resilient financial ecosystem.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had on April 19, 2024 approved the appointment of seven persons to the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission. They include: Mairiga Katuka (Chairman of the Board), Dr. Emomotimi Agama, Director-General, Frana Chukwuogor as Executive Commissioner (Legal and Enforcement); and Bola Ajomale as Executive Commissioner (Operations).
Others are: Mrs. Samiya Usman as Executive Commissioner (Corporate Services); while Lekan Belo, and Kasimu Kurfi are Non-Executive Commissioners.