By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Securities and Exchange Commission has stated that the implementation of the 10-year capital market master plan is already yielding tremendous results that have helped to deepen the capital market.
Obisan said that quite a number of notable initiatives as contained in the master plan like e-dividend, setting up of National Investors Protection Fund, Recapitalistion of Capital Market Operators, Direct Cash Settlement, Dematerialization, regularization of multiple accounts among others have reached various stages of completion while some have already been completed.
According to him, “quite a lot of notable things have been done, it is not like we are 100% there overall, but we are making tremendous progress. We took stock around November/December last year and we are still fully on track. But then it is worth mentioning that a couple of initiatives formed back then in 2015 have started yielding fruit, part of it is the commodities trading system.
“Several other initiatives are being implemented like taking advantage of the non interest capital market for increase and growth, people accessing Sukuk, a type of bond which is one of the most formidable ways of reaching the infrastructure challenges in the country. We are reviewing the master plan just to recalibrate and make sure we are not just using an old template to face a current or more dynamic world.
“It is a 10year master plan, however nothing is static. I mean we are human beings and we continue with movement. So currently we are reviewing the master plan in line with current realities. For instance, a lot of things have happened and technology is taking a front burner in our discussions”.
Obisan disclosed that in the face of the ongoing pandemic, the Commission is optimistic that the capital market will do well.
He said the use of technology is not just a necessity but almost compulsory because now during the pandemic period regulatory actions are still going on and the activities of the SEC as still going on.
“Our regulatory activities are still going on and the market is on. The market even recorded gains at the end of the year at some point. So it gave us the opportunity to pave way for a business continuity plan on some of the operators under our purview and even the regulator, it gave us the opportunity to even test ourselves, how technologically sound we are, we now know we can continue if human interface was not possible.
“The only part on the regulatory side that got affected was the market growth side because that involves to a large extent physical engagement and that got a little imparted. You have a lot of the exchanges that are still working between 60 -70% to 100% work from home policy. And things have not stopped, people are still trading, people are working as opposed to before now where technology was an option, now it’s the main thing and the physical interaction is an option.
Obisan said the Commission has put some strategies in place to ensure that activities in the capital market are not hindered by the effect of COVID-19.