SEC DG Harps on Importance of Private Equity Firms for Economic Growth

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Acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk d

Goddy Egene

The acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has stressed the importance of Private Equity (PE) for business and economic growth, saying there are many business opportunities where PE firms can tap into in Nigeria.

Uduk stated this at the Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie second PE summit with the theme: ‘Drivers, disruptors and unlocking value’ in Lagos. She noted that Nigeria has lots of startups with robust business plans, many profitable unlisted companies with established cash-generating capacity, as well as public companies with solid customer bases, proven products, and high-quality management that can attract PE firms.

“I see an improved investment climate, friendly market rules and regulations as well as increased investor education as essential elements for attracting PE investments in Nigeria. Towards this, the commission is working on rules and regulations to ease participation of, and disclosures, by more PE funds. Initiatives in registering and developing the FinTech space in the capital market will also provide good opportunities for PE firms to invest in innovative start-ups operating in the capital market,” she said.

According to her, “the ISA 2007 empowers SEC to register PE Funds. Based on their scope and the need to attract investors such as the Pension Funds, many PE firms and Infrastructure funds (often structured as PE), file their returns with the Commission.”

The SEC boss said that the capital market provides the most efficient gateway opportunities for PE firms, disclosing that the NASD Enterprise Portal, as a collaborative development in the market, aims at aiding PE firms invest in and dispose of eligible companies’ securities in an easy and cost-effective manner.