Investors in the capital market have been urged to take advantage of initiatives introduced in the capital market which are aimed primarily at strengthening the market and accelerating development.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated this at the enlightenment workshop/Investor clinic session with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and its agencies in Abuja on Wednesday.
The 10-year Master Plan initiatives include e-dividend Mandate system, Direct Cash Settlement, Regularisation of Multiple Accounts, National Investors Protection Fund, Recapitalisation of Capital Market Operators and Complaints Management Framework among others.
Mrs Ahmed who was represented by Mr Stephen Okon, Director Home Finance, said the enlightenment programme was in line with the commissions’ Capital Market Master Plan and urged the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to reflect and review the challenges faced by investors with a view to actualizing the objectives of the plan in the remaining few years.
She said, “It is worthy to know that the SEC marked out a 10-year plan for development of the Nigerian capital market. The objective is to device strategies for the development of the Nigerian capital market in key areas such as investor protection and integration, professionalism and product innovation and for the expansion of the capital markets role in Nigeria’s economy.
“The SEC deemed it fit to host members of staff of the ministry of finance, budget and national planning and agencies under the ministry in a capital market training procession and workshop with investors.
“This event is to share knowledge on capital market as well as obtain feedback from such bodies as a medium on exchange of ideas and feedback to SEC on how to continuously improve on the market activities and regulations which is central to Nigeria’s request for implementation and achieving sustainable development.
“I enjoin participants to take advantage of initiatives introduced in the capital market which are aimed primarily at strengthening the market and accelerating development. I wish to congratulate SEC for the foresight and sense of purpose in organizing this workshop,” she stated.
In his opening address, Director General of the SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda said the event which is organised by SEC in collaboration with the Financial Literacy Technical Committee (FLTC) is an annual event coordinated by IOSCO, which it mandates securities regulators globally to commemorate in their respective jurisdictions for the promotion of investor education and protection.
Yuguda said as as a member of IOSCO, the SEC is joining the rest of the world to celebrate this important week with planned activities focused on enlightening retail investors on their rights, duties and responsibilities, and educate them on contemporary issues in the Nigerian capital market.
According to him, the Nigerian financial sector is experiencing a resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers, who lure their subscribers by making promises of huge and unjustifiable returns on investment adding that these unlawful schemes have and continued to enjoy the massive patronage of the Nigerian populace and remain a source of concern for regulators in the financial sector.
“Thus, the Commission is poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders to combat the activities of these unlawful schemes, which have undermined the reputation of our financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence , among other things.
“The SEC firmly believes that the Nigerian capital market can attain its potentials if market operators/participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth of the market. The SEC commits to always ensure and manintain an enviroment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to market, zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governace practices.
“There is the need to restore investor confidence and improve the participation of retail investors in the market. The demography of investors in the Nigerian capital market shows that our young population do not participate in the capital market, and only few Nigerians invest in the capital market. This situation creates a huge challenge to the grwoth of our market, and the Commission is striving to change the narrative by instilling a fair, transparant and orderly market,” he added.