Efforts would be made to create more wealth for investors and Nigerians and stimulate economic growth, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) promised.
At a meeting over the weekend, the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, said this would be achieved by deepening and diversifying the capital market.
He said when capital markets are developed, the entire engine of saving and investing and allocating resources to the projects with the highest expected returns is made easy.
“And if you do that effectively, you will see that you will create more jobs in the economy, create more revenue for the government and make life easier for all investors.
“When that happens, you have a lot of interested parties that want to put in their money to help the market develop,” he said.
The DG said in a bid to develop the market; the agency saw the need to have a forum where it could interface with issuers in a bid to discourage delisting.
“When issuers delist, they do because of certain issues. So, we decided to engage Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and set up the Securities Issuers Forum. This was done to sit and discuss the issues and find solutions to them,” the SEC chief stated.
Mr Yuguda said that SEC was working hard to look at the various issues and ensure that the problem of delisting by companies is brought under check.
The SEC DG disclosed that the commission has put in place various other incentives to encourage companies to list, as listing provides enormous benefits to companies and investors.
“Listing enhances higher investor protection. This collaboration with NECA has been very fruitful, and that has given confidence to many of the players. We have started getting interest from the big players,” he noted.
He stated that some strategic listings have recently happened in the market, and the organisation was encouraging the diversification of the equity market by listing companies within power generation, telecommunications and foods.
He said, “We have had some strategic listings like the IPO of MTN, BUA Foods etc. and asset class creation or new products like derivatives have further helped diversify the listings from the huge leaning on the financial sector (banks and insurance) several years back.
“The problem with this market is when the big players do not list. So we started getting interest from the big players like MTN. And they decided to come in a very imaginative way. They decided to make the offer electronically so that people with telephones could subscribe without going through an intermediary,” Mr Yuguda said, assuring that the commission would continue collaborating with various market stakeholders to support impactful innovation in the capital market.
“For example, our keen support of the innovation by the Issuing House to the MTN IPO in 2022, Chapel Hill Advisory, further promoted the benefits of electronic-IPO (e-IPO), which made it possible for over 100,000 new accounts to be opened on the CSCS, most of which belong to youths and women- key subsets of our demography which is considered critical to sustainable growth.
“Information Technology and FinTech is fast becoming Nigeria’s new oil, and we continue to support the participation of fintechs in helping the capital market attract the youth and to help ease onboarding and ‘democratise’ access to wealth management services,” he added.