economic prosperity

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has charged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to do more to deepen the country’s capital market so as to create wealth for citizens.

Speaking in Lagos on Thursday at the launch of the revised Capital Market Master Plan, she said, “Nigeria needs a capital market that broadens access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and distribution, providing capital to small and medium scale enterprises, and catalysing housing finance.”

She noted that investor confidence remains one of the key ingredients that will accelerate the growth of the nation’s capital market and increase both domestic and foreign participation, assuring SEC of the continued support of the federal government to enable it effectively do its job of regulating and developing the ecosystem.

According to her, the capital market should be characterised by a high level of compliance with ethical standards, deep liquidity and sophistication, good corporate governance, and a strong domestic investor base.

“I consider the revised Capital Market Master Plan a veritable tool which the capital market must use as it drives key initiatives towards achieving the Country’s economic growth objectives,” the Minister, represented at the launch by the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, said.

Mrs Ahmed said the implementation of the master plan was one of the key initiatives in the 40- Deliverable Presidential mandate of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

This, the Minister said, underscores the fact that capital market growth resonates with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwavering commitment to deepening and re-positioning the financial market as a key anchor to achieving a private-sector-led development of our economy, as emphasised in the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives.

“This administration and, especially my office, has supported the Capital Market Master Plan implementation efforts since inception.

“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 country in the top 20 global economies by the year 2025,” she said.

The Finance Minister commended the SEC, CAMMIC and the capital market community for their laudable achievements, especially in the areas of dematerialization of share certificates, e-Dividend Mandate Management System, facilitation of access to alternative investments like SUKUK, enhancing the commodities trading ecosystem, national savings strategy, demutualization of the NSE, and the ongoing review of the ISA among others.

According to her, “I am also aware of ongoing efforts on other initiatives like the direct cash settlement, introduction of derivatives, financial literacy, enhancing market liquidity, incentives for listings, growth of collective investment schemes and leveraging fintech solutions in the capital market.

“I assure you of the government’s support in all these efforts, and I am confident in your ability to successfully drive these initiatives to fruition.

“As you chart the course for the next phase of the Capital Market Master Plan’s implementation, I assure you of the federal government’s support and look forward to working with you to realize the plan’s objectives” she stated.

In his remarks, the DG of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, stated that the master plan was designed to chart a strategic direction while providing clarity of vision and a robust road map required to facilitate innovation, investment, growth and expansion of empowering opportunities in Nigeria and beyond.

He said, “Our vision is to be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyses Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

“We believe the plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with other stakeholders to effectively drive its implementation.”

Mr Yuguda stated that the main objective of the review was to produce an updated version of the document primarily to: engage stakeholders on the current level of market development and opportunities for further capital market growth, review and update the assumptions and vision of the Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) and develop targets for the various thematic areas of the CMMP, and introduce a Strategy Map and KPIs for the CMMP and use the balanced scorecard approach for performance measurement.

Other objectives the DG said are to align existing initiatives with new ones based on targets and strategic objectives; develop an implementation plan for initiatives with clear milestones, deliverables, timelines, resource requirements, and dependencies; identify challenges, opportunities and risks associated with the CMMP implementation and recommend ways of effective and more efficient implementation; and identify and incorporate new product ideas and initiatives to deepen and grow the Capital Market.

The DG commended Mrs Ahmed for her unwavering support and commitment to the implementation of the master plan and the development of our capital market; the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) for their partnership and funding support in the review of the Capital Market Master Plan; Dr Andrew Nevin and his team at PwC for a comprehensive and professional revision of the master plan; and CAMMIC, and the entire capital market community for providing valuable insights during the review process.

Mr Victor Nkiri, representing FSDA, said that the Nigerian capital market had gained prominence among its peers, having increased in size, depth and sophistication in terms of diversified products adding that the capital market continues to play a key role in the economy.

He said the revised CMMP would provide a blueprint for Nigeria’s capital market to remain up to date with emerging trends and future realities, even as it continues to attract increased local and foreign investors’ participation.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Capital Market Implementation Council, Prof. Kanyinsola Ajayi, said the vision to be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyzes Nigeria’s economic growth and development is ambitious but achievable.

He said, “We will need to work together as a market, across the financial sector and with the Government to ensure we ease all bottlenecks and address policy gaps that will help unleash the power of the private sector to drive the market growth we all aspire for. We believe the Plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with all our stakeholders under the leadership of SEC.”

Represented by Dr Dotun Suleiman, Mr Ajayi said the revised master Plan has proposed changes to the implementation governance structure to make it more efficient, flexible and focused on providing positive for the market and all stakeholders. Consequently, I would like to implore the DG to ensure that this structure is fully implemented and manned as proposed.

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