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We need to mitigate cyber risks — SEC DG



In recognition of the fact that cyber risk poses a significant threat to market confidence, integrity and  efficiency, the need for a robust strategy for mitigating such risks has been emphasised.

Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda who said this during the Central Securities Clearing System Cyber Securities conference recently, stated that the importance of Cybersecurity to the financial sector needs to be underscored because people’s hard-earned income and other financial instruments are saved and invested in it.

According to him,“In the Nigerian capital market, we clearly take issues on cybersecurity very serious due to the increasing volume of data and information that are stored electronically, coupled with the increased adoption of digitization and digitalization options in processing market transactions on daily basis.

“Today, more of our market activities are conducted through the use of technology than ever before. While this has significantly raised efficiency levels, it has introduced our market’s exposure to a new set of risks, including cybersecurity risk, which we must recognize and manage.”

The DG said that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated the activation of business continuity plans through remote operations has further increased the rate at which stakeholders embrace technology and underscores the critical need to protect our systems from existing and potential threats that are present in cyberspace.

Yuguda stated that cyber-attacks on financial institutions are often with the aim of gaining access to sensitive and confidential information for illicit financial gains. With the increased interconnectivity among financial institutions, a cyber-attack from one location or entity may have an impact on the entire system, thereby compromising the functions and safety of several sectors of the economy.

It is in this regard, he stated, that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appreciates the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, in developing the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021.

“The Policy is focused on achieving its objectives through strengthening cybersecurity governance and coordination; protection of critical National Information Infrastructure; enhancing cybersecurity incident management; strengthening legal and regulatory framework; enhancing cyber defence capability; promoting a thriving digital economy; and enhancing international cooperation among others.

“In November 2021, the capital market community received updates from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) at a workshop it sponsored for the Capital Market, and a detailed presentation on the national cybersecurity policy was also made at the Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) to which Nigeria is a full member, has also done considerable work in making its members aware of the increasing risks around Cybersecurity. The IOSCO Board has provided guidance through its ‘Guidance on Cyber Resilience for Financial Market Infrastructures’ report, indicating the various plans or measures that industry stakeholders could adopt to ensure cybersecurity.

“It encourages regulated entities to adopt practices that are appropriate to their unique functions. Nevertheless, it notes that these should cover the identification of critical assets, protection measures and controls to enhance security, detection of abnormal activity or patterns, response plans in the event of an attack, and recovery plans to resume operations.

He disclosed that the SEC Nigeria is developing policy and regulatory responses to emerging cyber risks in its rules and regulations on capital market activities and products that leverage technology, as well as in the Minimum Operating Standards for capital market operators, for which clear provisions for cybersecurity have been made.

He stated that, “Due to the importance of data protection, the Federal Government created the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) in February 2022. The NDPB has issued a Compliance Notice introducing the National Data Protection Adequacy Programme (NaDPAP) which guarantees every citizen of Nigeria a Right to Privacy. This is one of the concerted efforts by the NDPB to create more awareness on the obligations of Data Controllers/Processors under the NDPR, 2019.

“Therefore, awareness and action at the national level should spur the various sectors of the economy to protect themselves from cyber threat by ensuring that they adhere to either industry standards or national policy carefully.”

In further recognition of the role technology will continue to play in the markets, the DG disclosed that the Commission is set to release its guidelines on Minimum operating standards for Information Technology for Capital Market Operators (CMOs). The guidelines will cover, among other important areas, the computing environment, Information Technology/Information Systems Management and Governance, IT Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.

He assured that the Commission through these guidelines will encourage the establishment of an Information Security and Cybersecurity Policy to be in place to form part of the Enterprise IT Policy of capital market intermediaries, platforms and other financial market infrastructures.

“Within the guidelines, we expect stakeholders to conduct regular penetration tests at least annually to detect vulnerabilities and check the resilience of their networks and systems to threats and malicious activities.

“Cybersecurity is a critical issue for the financial sector, and the capital market is up to the task of ensuring that it provides the necessary safety nets for investors and stakeholders,” he added.

Yuguda, therefore, stated that the CSCS has come a long way and today stands as a pillar in our market given the fact that it is a critical and technology-driven market infrastructure, it is not only appropriate but well placed for it to organize discussions around cybersecurity.

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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