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Proliferation of illegal operators a major concern — SEC



By Philemon Adedeji

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that the persisted proliferation of operators running illegal investment schemes in the country continues to be a major critical concern to the capital market.

Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda who stated this in a New Year Message in Abuja, therefore assured of a renewed onslaught against promoters of such schemes.

Yuguda said that last year alone, the Commission sealed off the offices of four (4) such illegal operators that had defrauded innocent citizens of billions of Naira and assured that the Commission will continue its enforcement actions to ensure that such illegal entities are not allowed to operate.

According to him, “The SEC has been fighting a serious war against Ponzi schemes, we have been alerting people. We have said that investors should only deal with registered operators that have the registration of the Commission, we have their list on the SEC website and we have always said that if you go to an operator or when an operator approaches you, you must confirm that he is a licensed operator with the SEC.

“We have our numbers on how to reach our offices in the zones and we have done a lot of sensitizations in terms of seminars, webinars all in an effort to discourage people from going to Ponzi schemes.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people continue to patronize this Ponzi schemes, we have had cases that have been reported to us, our enforcement department and the police unit has been on many of these cases trying to resolve the cases that have been reported to us.

“The Commission has also continued to employ its compliance tool to ensure that only fit and proper capital market operators practice in the market. This has resulted to an improved level of compliance with filing of prudential returns rising to 96 per cent in 2022 compared with 81 per cent in 2021.”

The DG expressed confidence that as the results of the various initiatives the Commission is implementing begin to gradually manifest in 2023, the Commission and indeed the Capital Market will witness uncommon development in securities issuance businesses especially as it affects digital assets, commodities trading ecosystem, custodianship of assets, and Fintech among others.

“With the implementation of the Revised Capital Market Master Plan, the Market will also witness renewed confidence expected to attract fresh investments from domestic and foreign investors.

“Although 2023 is an election year and market activities may typically slow down before and during the general elections, we are hopeful that the improved awareness and positive electioneering campaigns will lead to peaceful elections and a quick return to the pre-election levels of investment activities.”

On some of the achievements of the Commission in the last year, Yuguda disclosed that on Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), in order to comply with the requirements of both the GIABA Mutual Evaluation Report(MER) Follow-Up Process and the FATF International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) requirements to avoid Nigeria being placed on the FATF public grey list at the Plenary after the deadline in October, 2022, the Commission approved the Rules and Regulations of the Virtual Asset Service providers b. Amendments of the sector specific regulations to repeal the 2013 SEC AML/CFT Regulations and enactment of the 2022 AML/CFT Regulations.

On Fintech, the DG stated that the Commission will pursue various initiatives, including sensitisation programmes on Crowdfunding adding that to further strengthen and encourage developments in the Fintech space, the Commission resuscitated the Regulatory Incubation program during the year.

Giving an update on the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) review, the SEC DG said the Commission presented the ISB to the National Assembly for its legislative consideration and a public hearing was successfully organised on September 20, 2022. The Bill has successfully gone through the 3rd reading at the House of Representatives in December, 2022, and will be presented to the Senate on resumption in January 2023 for its concurrence.

“We are hopeful that the Bill will be passed into law before the end of the 9th National Assembly. With less than six months to the end of the 9th National Assembly come June, 2023, we believe that the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) will be passed in the coming months.

“The ISB, if passed into law, will align the enabling Act with the realities and trends in capital market regulation and practice in Nigeria and abroad,” he stated.

Yuguda assured that the Commission will continue to provide extra support to the registered commodities trading platforms to complement government’s renewed diversification efforts in agriculture. Engagement with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) will continue in order to expedite action on the review, approval and publication of commodities standards.

capital market

IATF2023 records $43.8bn closed deals



The African Export-Import Bank has disclosed that the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) held in Cairo from 9 to 15 November witnessed the conclusion of business deals and transactions valued at US$43.8 billion.

In the final tallies released in Cairo, the organisers of the continental event said that the amount represented the value of 426 deals concluded in 21 sectors covering 52 countries. At a press conference to announce the results, Executive Vice President (Intra-African Trade Bank) at Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, also announced that 130 countries participated in the trade fair, which attracted 1,939 exhibitors and 28,282 participants who attended physically and through the IATF virtual platform.

One of the notable transactions included the Export Agriculture for Food Security Framework executed by several African countries (as Origin Countries) and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms, Arise IIP (as Anchor Investor) to which Afreximbank committed US$2 billion to boost production, processing, and intra-African trade in agricultural products and to provide African farmers and agribusinesses with opportunities to access larger markets across the continent.

Mrs Awani also said that the IATF had successfully established itself as the premier trade and investment event in Africa, with the unique capacity to increase intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

“Building on the successes of IATF2018 and IATF2021, I am proud to say that the buzz and energy generated by IATF2023 will be felt across Africa and beyond for many years to come. Together, we have explored new possibilities and opened new doors for a brighter future for our continent,” she added.

IATF2023 kicked off on 9 November and included an official opening ceremony, a Presidential Summit which was addressed by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, a Trade and Investment Forum, the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), an African Auto Forum, AU Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, a Sub-Sovereigns Conference, a Diaspora Summit, an African Industrialization Week and an African Tourism Sustainability and Investment Forum. A series of side events were also held as part of the trade fair.

The next edition of the IATF will be hosted in 2025 by Algeria.

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capital market

Investors record positive gains, as NGXASI advance by 0.43%



Investors yesterday recorded positive gains on the Nigerian equities market following Monday’s losses.

According to data obtained from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) website, the NGX Market CAP recorded a gain of N165.99 billion in Naira terms.

The NGX All-Share Index (NGXASI) also advanced by 0.43 percent, closing at 71,250.17 basis points, compared to the previous day’s loss of 0.66 percent, which closed at 70,946.83 basis points. With the growth, the NGXASI now stands at 39.02 percent.

The total volume traded also advanced by 20.93 percent to close at N433.57 million, valued at N11.11 billion and traded in 7,016 deals.

The Gate Index closed flat at 183.36, while the Toni index advanced by 0.27 percent to close at 375.28 basis points.

At the close of trading, the market recorded 40 gainers, 15 losers, and 64 unchanged. NSLTECH topped the gainers list, while ABBEYBDS topped the list of losers.

UACN was the most traded stock by volume with N61.71 million, while NIDF was the most traded stock by value with N2.22 billion units traded.

UACN also had the highest volume contribution with 14.23 percent, while UBA and GTCO followed closely.

According to the value chart, NIDF is at the top with a 20.0 percent contribution. AIRTELAFRI and MTNN followed closely behind.

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capital market

SEC DG calls for multifaceted approach to enhance capital market growth



The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda has called for a multi-faceted approach to enhance the growth of Nigeria’s capital market.

The SEC DG made this known while addressing journalists at the 2023 conference of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) held in Lagos at the weekend.

According to Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, “Effectively harnessing the capital market for national development entails a multi-faceted approach, these include deploying more infrastructure, fostering more public-private partnerships, establishing specialised entities like special purpose vehicles (SPVs), listing state-owned enterprises, issuing green bonds to support sustainable projects, and bolstering small and medium enterprises among others.”

According to him, the revised capital market master plan underscored SEC’s commitment to deepening and. repositioning the financial market as a key driver of sustainable economic growth.

“The master plan which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our dear country in the top 20 economies by the year 2025,” Yuguda said.

The SEC DG added that synergy holds the potential of unleashing capital market prowess and paving the way for a prosperous future.

According to him, achieving the objective necessitates an increased utilisation of market mechanisms and instruments to raise funds and stimulate economic advancement.

He pointed out that the commission would continue to introduce new ideas and policies that would support the development and regulation of a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent, and efficient to contribute to the nation’s economic development, noting that investors protection plays a crucial role in the development and integrity of the capital market.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, SEC Lagos Zonal office, Mr John Briggs, urged the government to create infrastructure financing instruments that would facilitate easy servicing of obligations.

“We have encouraged a lot of infrastructure funds like sukuk, and green bonds and we are even talking about blue bonds to develop the market.”

“The capital market has created the conducive environment to ensure a transparent and dynamic market which would continue to attract investment,” he said.

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