The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed that the implementation of its 10-year Capital Market Master Plan is already contributing to growth and development of the Nigerian capital market, and by extension, the economy.
This was disclosed by the Acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, yesterday, during the opening ceremony of a two-day international capital market conference in Lagos.
The event is organised by the commission in collaboration with University of Lagos.
Uduk described the theme of the conference, “Leveraging the Capital Market for Economic Growth and Development,” as apt and timely, given the pressing need to grow the nation’s economy and achieve sustainable development.
According to her, “there is no doubt that the capital market can serve as a key catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as it offers a credible platform for obtaining long- term financing. As we all know, long-term and affordable funds are required for businesses to thrive and in turn contribute to employment, growth and development.
“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”.
The acting DG stated further that capital markets across the world had products and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth and development.
She said although many of such products were available in Nigeria, there were aspects that are still untapped, thereby limiting the realisation of the nation’s potential.
“One major initiative to tap this potential was the development of a 10-year Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP), launched by the commission in 2014. 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.
“It is also 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,” she said.
She said the successes recorded from these initiatives, notwithstanding, SEC recognised that much more still needs to be done for the Nigerian capital market to contribute its desired quota and take its rightful place on issues and discussions of Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
In his remarks, Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the state government was interested in the growth and development of the capital market.
Represented by Dr. Shamsudeen Allison, Director, Special Duties Office, Sanwo-Olu said the event was strategic in promoting business and development in Lagos state.
Also speaking, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Unilag, Prof Oluwole Familoni, said the conference was a good fora to discuss and proffer solutions to some of the problems being faced by the investing public and also an avenue for Nigerians to learn more about the capital market.
Familoni expressed the hope that at the end of the conference, the capital market would be better positioned for the development of the economy.