SEC Official Outlines Steps to Deepen Nigeria’s Capital Market


Goddy Egene

Realising the need to deepen the nation’s capital market, the Head, Economic Research and Policy Management Division, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Afolabi Olowookere has listed steps that should be taken by all stakeholders to make the market more attractive.

Speaking at the 9th Annual Conference and Induction of Associates ceremony of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR) in Lagos, Olowookere said the challenges of liquidity, valuations and cost of listing are critical to issuers and investors.

He, therefore, stressed the need to addressed these issues more vigorously, noting that Nigerian issuers and investors would increasingly look outside the country.

“We need to retain them and attract others. Other platforms are growing. There is the need to maximise the benefits from the debt segment, especially on the FMDQ Securities Exchange and unlisted securities on NASD OTC as well as commodities,” he said.

Olowookere, disclosed that private financing options are growing, advising there is the need to look into this and let them exit through organised exchanges such as NASD.

“Macroeconomic stability, efficient legal framework, disclosure and transparency very critical. We need to work toward implementing the Capital Market Master-plan initiatives. Many depositors are not included in the capital market, there should be literacy to encourage collective investment schemes. Besides, Fintech is here, we need to need to use it in what we do currently. We need to issue new products based on it So that we are not ‘disrupted,” he said.

He said the market has come a long way, adding that despite the crash, there are improvements.

“We have more products and platforms and products and improved regulatory framework. Deliberate government policies have contributed to the growth of the market, during indigenisation, privatisation and consolidation. However, government needs to have a deliberate policy to grow the capital market through various incentives to issuers, operators and investors. When there are no deliberate government policies, the market and the regulator have made some progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stock market opened the month of December on a negative note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) declined by 0.04 per cent to close at 26,990.59, while market capitalisation shed N153 billion to close at N13 trillion yesterday.

But activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 8.5 per cent to 246.5 million shares while value traded declined 33.4 per cent to N2.4 billion. The top traded stocks by volume were FCMB Group (97.8 million shares), Zenith Bank (21.8 million shares), and FBN Holdings Plc (15.2 million) while Nigerian Breweries (N614.9 million), Zenith Bank (N406.8 million) and Dangote Cement Plc (N352.6 million) led the value chart.