The acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, has said the capital market can serve as a key catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development because it offers a credible platform for obtaining long- term financing.
Uduk, stated this during the opening ceremony of a two-day international capital market conference held in Lagos, Wednesday, organised by SEC, in collaboration with the University of Lagos.
According to her, long-term and affordable funds were 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,” she said.
The acting DG stated further that capital markets across the world have products and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth and development.
She said although many of such products are available in Nigeria, there are aspects still untapped, thereby limiting the realisation of the nation’s potential.
Uduk, disclosed that 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, the SEC recognised that much more still needed to be done for the Nigerian capital market to contribute its desired quota and take its rightful place in issues and discussions of Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
“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,” she said.