By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
For any country to be among the most economically advanced in the comity of nations, serious attention must be paid to the development of a credible and stable capital market, which is an essential precondition for a well-functioning economy.
Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mr. Lamido Yuguda who stated this at the First Nigeria Employers Summit organized by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association in Abuja, stated that such credibility and stability are not guaranteed by market mechanisms alone, but regulation too.
The SEC Boss said the Commission brings significant regulations to the capital market and has over the years, continued to put in place clear and consistently applied regulatory frameworks to reduce regulatory and operational impediments and engender the smooth functioning of the market.
He said, “As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the SEC has executed several initiatives to build a collaborative regulatory environment for enterprise competitiveness, job creation and national development. Through its ten-year Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025), which serves as the primary roadmap for the development of the Nigerian capital market, the Commission has mapped out strategies to build a capital market that is the largest on the continent of Africa and one of the world’s deepest by 2025. The Masterplan’s implementation has been admitted as the 246th programme and project in the recently approved National Development Plan 2021-2025 (NDP2515033).
“The Commission continues to enhance its regulatory framework through the issuance of Rules to keep pace with market trends. Recent ones include rules on Investment-based Crowdfunding, which created an enabling environment for capital raising by start-ups and on Annual Renewal of Registration of Capital Market Operators to ensure only fit and proper persons operate in the Nigerian Capital Market”.
The SEC DG said the Commission has continued to strive to fulfill its mandate of protecting investors and creating an enabling environment for market operations and has remained consistent in its mandate of ensuring that the market provides an important channel of financing for the real sector to drive economic growth; allocate risk appropriately; support financial stability and smoothen transmission of monetary policy.
He however noted that the capital market is making efforts to do more in the areas of provision of long-term funds to develop infrastructure for the country and support developmental projects, canvassing the need to further deepen the Nigerian capital market for it to contribute the required long-term capital that Nigeria needs for business investment, infrastructure and other innovative financing.
“The gains of capital market development will be macroeconomic development, lower transaction cost, greater liquidity, improved productivity and infrastructure development. The development of the capital market will facilitate a housing finance revolution.
“It will facilitate improved allocation of capital and provide small, medium and large companies access to the market to raise funds; facilitate foreign inflows of capital; raise productivity growth and lower unemployment. Capital market development is a spur for growth; improved living standards and efficiency.
“The impact of these efforts will be superior economic performance of the Nigerian economy” he added.
Yuguda stated that Since its formation in 1957, NECA has earned a reputation as a viable platform for interaction between private sector employers, government, labour and other relevant stakeholders. We at the Securities and Exchange Commission, identify with NECA’s commitment and drive towards promoting a favourable environment for businesses to thrive and contribute maximally to national development.
According to him, the theme for this year’s summit “The Private Sector – An Engine for National Development” would not have come at a better time than now, when nations are working to manage their economies amidst the devastating effects of Covid-19 and unraveling global political developments.
He said. “I must also mention that the topic, “Building a Collaborative Regulatory Environment for Enterprise Competitiveness, Job Creation and National Development” is a tacit reminder that building a viable economic system requires cooperation and commitment of all relevant stakeholders operating in a robust regulatory environment.
“I am therefore thrilled to speak on a topic consistent with our professional engagements at the Securities and Exchange Commission especially as the Commission harps on developing and regulating a Dynamic, Fair, Transparent and Efficient Capital Market that will contribute to the nation’s economic development”.