The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) says it is determined to provide SMEs in the country with access to investors, seeking viable returns on investments.
This, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the NGX, Temi Popoola, arises from the role of Nigerian SMEs as critical components of the economy, which are increasingly serving as the principal vehicle for the creation of employment and revenue.
In a keynote at the 2022 Annual Business Luncheon organised by the Capital Market Solicitors Association on Thursday, 23 June 2022, in Lagos, Popoola said “SMEs offer the economy a steady supply of ideas, skills, and innovation, which are vital for promoting competition and efficient resource allocation. Despite the importance of this sector, it faces material challenges that continue to lead to a decline in productivity. Some of these include power supply challenges, substandard trade facilitation infrastructure multiplicity of fees and taxes, and of course, lack of financing.”
The event with the theme, “Capital Market, Startup Financing and Syndicate Funding: Ability of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Access the Capital Market,” offered a platform for stakeholders across the capital market to discuss and proffer solutions to the prevailing business constraints faced by SMEs.
Popoola noted that the theme of the event is apt as the role of SMEs in economic development cannot be overemphasized, stressing the NGX’s commitment to expanding the Nigerian capital market and providing inclusive platforms for a diverse range of stakeholders, including SMEs, to access capital.
“It is important that capital markets are able to play a role in catalyzing growth within this sector. The launch of the NGX Growth Board in 2019 is in keeping with this commitment. The NGX Growth Board is a veritable platform dedicated to encouraging small-cap and growth-oriented businesses to leverage the capital market to raise long-term capital, stimulate growth, and promote liquidity.
“We are also working to establish the Technology Board, which will connect technology companies with an extensive pool of investors. We are currently working on a slew of innovative approaches to attract capital market funding for the Technology portion of the SME sector as well as less formal ways to attract funding to the sector overall,” he added.