Acting Director-General of Nigeria’s Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, on Thursday in Abuja, said the nation’s capital market community came out of the 2008/2009 crisis with a resolve to avoid traveling that road ever again.
She said this led to the repeated review of the code of good corporate governance and the inclusion of a compliance scorecard in the 2014 version to ensure that the market is sound.
Uduk, who spoke at the Investing and Capital Market conference, organized by BusinessDay Media, said the commission will from January 2020, visit companies “to ascertain the veracity of their submissions.”
She expressed satisfaction with the compliance rate so far, noting that although the project is still at the pilot stage, “there is now a lot of compliance in terms of submissions.”
The Acting DG said the SEC codes are mandatory because they are now in its Rules and Regulations adding that it is now compulsory for companies to adhere to and there are provisions to punish violators.
Continuing, she urged all hands “to be on deck to ensure we succeed on this one. Even operators know the disadvantage of not complying. When the market is down, they do not earn much. So they have decided to ensure that the right thing is done.
“We are hoping that since this is the only market we have, we all have to do the right thing in the interest of everyone” she added.
Uduk said a lack of good corporate governance has created a lot of issues in the corporate world, adding that such issues are some of the reasons why people are avoiding the capital market.
In a keynote speech earlier, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, acknowledged the very crucial role played by the capital market in the growth and development of the country.
According to her, “we want a vision for a future Nigeria where the majority of Nigerians have been sustainably lifted out of poverty, and have access to fundamental services including education, health care, water supply, and sanitation. A future where all are financially included, with affordable access to financial products and services. A future where we have left no one behind.
“Our capital market is crucial to actualizing this future, and to achieving the sustained, inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth that this Government aims to achieve,” she said.
The Minister said the Capital Market allows for the mobilization of long-term savings for investment as well as efficient pricing of financial instruments.
Further, she said, it has provided a necessary platform through which the business sector and Government have been able to source for capital to expand their operations and provide public goods and services for the citizens.
“Therefore, we recognize the importance of maintaining a competitive, resilient and innovative capital market through, in part, the development of appropriate policies, and a strong regulatory and enabling environment, and continued implementation of the ten-year Capital Market Master Plan (2015 to 2025), aimed at positioning the Nigerian capital market for accelerated development of the national economy.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly the Federal Ministry of Finance reiterates its commitment towards building lasting, endurable, and increasingly more innovative capital markets. I, therefore, look forward to today’s deliberations and to your continued support in achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and prosperity” she added.