By Kayode Tokede
Nigeria, represented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other stakeholders, will, in the month of October 2020, join the rest of the world to commemorate the fourth annual World Investor Week (WIW) under the auspices of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
The WIW is a week-long event aimed at raising awareness about the importance of investor education and protection, towards engendering the financial and overall wellbeing of the individual, and particularly in view of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WIW key messages for 2020 highlight the basics of investing, including, among other things, the importance of assessing the impact of fees when choosing an investment and understanding that all investments entail risks.
The WIW will stress messages regarding mobilising savings and investment and will also deliver a key message on financial literacy.
While IOSCO is set to commemorate WIW from the 5th to 11th October, jurisdictions are at liberty to choose alternative weeks in October or November, as may be convenient, to stage their events. SEC Nigeria has chosen the week of 26th October, 2020 to stage a series of events in this respect.
As part of the commemoration, all the exchanges in Nigeria will be expected to, on the first day of the commemorative week, ‘ring the bell for financial literacy’. Additionally, the Commission, working with the Financial Literacy Technical Committee (FLTC), will host a webinar titled ‘Mobilising Savings and Investments”.
It is worthy of note that the SEC and others players in the capital market have, over time, continually sought to boost the level and quality of financial literacy in Nigeria.
Major among the current initiatives is the plan to introduce capital market studies in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, a project which has reached an advance stage and will likely be delivered soon.
It is without doubt that the delivery of this project will change the face of financial literacy in Nigeria forever.
The import of this years’ event cannot be overestimated given the peculiar state of world affairs. Paul Andrews, IOSCO Secretary General, said, “Every year, WIW attracts growing international support and new participants, thereby underpinning IOSCO´s steadfast commitment to investor education and protection. This fourth reiteration of WIW is particularly relevant, given the impact of COVID 19 on global capital markets and investor protection.”
Stakeholders across the Nation are invited to join hands with the Commission, and in their own different ways raise the awareness on the important need to educate and protect the investor. This becomes more important with the realisation that the investor, as our customer, is the king without whom there will not be a market.