The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has restated the vital role the capital market plays in the development of any country through the provision of long-term funds for infrastructure development, among others.
Director General of the SEC Mr Lamido Yuguda stated this when a team from the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) visited the Commission in Abuja, at the weekend, to collaborate with the SEC towards the development of the economy.
The SEC DG said that the capital market could actually do more in the areas of provision of necessary infrastructure for the country in a bid to support the government in its development efforts.
He said: “our collective economic power is bigger than the government and in many countries you find out that the capital market is actually funding the government. When you save, the finance is used to create economic value that actually enhances your standard of living and this is a win-win. You get financial returns and also get utility from the investments and this is actually achievable.”
Yuguda welcomed the collaboration with the NESG, saying that both organisations could do more for the economic development of the country.
“On the capital market, it is a welcome development that we are talking with the NESG for there is something that really needs to happen in this country.
“When you look at our policy environment, in many areas it is not conducive for the return of capital to investors and we are working hard to tackle this.”
The SEC DG noted that the telecommunications companies were successful because no one was getting the services for free as everyone paid.
“We all pay for the services no one is getting the services for free, but when we move on our roads, we say no we do not want to pay for it. In other countries people pay for their roads and they are happy doing that, because the roads are good.
“We need to have a collaboration with a group like NESG. Once we are able to put things right, investors will be willing to put in money and there will be returns,” he said.
In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, expressed worry that the banking sector was being over stressed, urging governments and corporate organisations to look towards the capital market for their funding needs.
Jaiyeola stated that transactions could be restructured to raise bonds, bills and all of those things that would fund whatever it waa that needed to be funded without going through banks.
He said: “The securities market needs to take the bull by the horns otherwise we are going to be in perpetual debt as a Nation and that will not help us.
“That is one of the reasons we say let’s re-engage, how can we get an Investments and Securities Act that will ensure that the needed funding for development in Nigeria is given priority and then we can fund Nigeria for a longer term.
“The short term funding cannot help us; we need to begin to move to long-term. We are passionate about it and we need to raise these funds for the needed development funding for Nigeria.”
Also speaking, Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement SEC, Mr Reginald Karawusa stated that the current ISA was signed into Law by then President Musa YarÁdua in 2007, which made it 15 years old now.
Karawusa said the SEC set up an industry-wide Committee to rework the law, adding that several market experts were involved in redrafting the law as well as inputs from stakeholders.
According to him, “a draft was tabled to the 8th assembly, unfortunately the assembly left before passing the Bill. Getting the bill passed will be a major thing for the capital market. There are new provisions that will strengthen the SEC to effectively regulate to make us a top notch regulator to increase the number of products. There is also a provision that will enable us play with National Savings Scheme, which is another major gate changer if the Bill becomes passed. Therefore, any support we can get from the NESG will be appreciated.”