The acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, on Wednesday restated the strategic roles of the nation’s capital market in the current drive towards properly positioning Nigeria’s economy on a stable and sustainable growth path.
Specifically, the investment expert, who made the remarks during the opening ceremony of a two-day international capital market conference organised by SEC, in collaboration with the University of Lagos, hinged her position on the bourse’s capacity as a credible platform for sourcing long-term financing for critical projects.
Noting further that capital markets globally have products and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth and development, Uduk pointed out that long-term and affordable funds raised from capital markets are required for enterprises to thrive and enable them create jobs and contribute in several other areas to national development.
According to her, although many of such products are available in Nigeria, there are aspects still untapped, thereby limiting the realisation of the nation’s potential.
She said: “Beyond capital market’s contribution to economic growth, we aim at the larger goal of economic development.
“Added to increased production, the latter entails advancement in the quality of life and living standards of citizens in areas such as improvements in literacy, health and life expectancy, better savings/investment culture, financial inclusion, as well as improved wealth distribution, housing and environment”, Uduk stressed.
To enable the nation’s capital market play its long-term investment funding roles, the acting Director General said that the SEC developed the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP), which was launched in 2014.
She pointed out that the Plan “has over 100 initiatives to spring–board the Nigerian capital market as one of the world’s deepest and most liquid, as well as the largest in Africa by 2025.
Uduk explained that the Plan was aimed at ensuring that the market contributes much more to the socio-economic development of the nation, particularly in facilitating capital-raising for sustainable development and transformation of key sectors.
While recalling that modest achievements have been recorded through the implementation of the Plan over the last few years, the industry expert said that the commission still recognised that more work still needed to be done for the Nigerian capital market to contribute its desired quota in the collective drive towards Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
She clarified: “As we move into the future, we need to continuously embrace innovation in the way we carry out our market operations and regulation. Financial innovation is germane for the conception and delivery of a dynamic industrial society. Market participants and regulators have to continually familiarise themselves with the rapid ever-changing economic, regulatory and business environment.
“Beyond the conventional capital market products of equities and bonds as well as manual regulatory processes, the players and regulators in the Nigerian capital market are introducing new and innovative processes and products,” Uduk added.