Capital Market Operators Advocate for N1tr Infrastructure Fund

Ike Chioke
Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, Mr. Ike Chioke

By Dike Onwuamaeze

The newly elected President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN), Mr. Ike Chioke has urged capital market operators in the country to champion the floating of a N1 trillion infrastructure fund for the country.

Chioke, made the call yesterday in Lagos, during the Annual General Meeting of the association and the 2020 Investment Banking Awards, where he emerged the president of the AIHN.

He stated that the AIHN believed that the, “capital market should be at the centre of mobilising funding for key infrastructural projects in the country. As such, we shall be advocating that the capital market should float a N1 trillion infrastructure fund.”

He also said the proceeds from the fund would be applied to packaging and developing bankable target infrastructural projects which require funding in line with the Sukuk bond model.

Chioke said: “These should be commercially viable, ring-fenced, legally secured, high impact with enabling guarantees where needed,” adding that the fund should accommodate, “public sector sponsored projects protected from public sector bureaucratic execution framework yet compliant with all relevant public sector procurement rules.”

He affirmed the notion that crypto-currencies are now a financial reality, stating that the time has come for the AIHN to encourage its members to brace up to the future of capital raising in the digital market.

“One of the things the AIHN will be championing going forward,” he said, “is how to prepare our members for the future of capital raising in a digital financial market.

“While crypto-currencies emerged as an experimental and alternative way to store value, they have now become the norm with a future that will significantly change the financial markets as we know it.”

Chioke said data from Bitcoin promoters in the country have shown that Nigeria recently overtook the United States as the country with the most downloads of the Bitcoin wallet.

According to him, 3,473 out of the 18,613 wallets downloaded between July and August this year were from Nigeria, which was well ahead of the 2,802 from the United States America while India remained a distant third with a total of 1,420 downloads during the same period.

“According to Usetulips, Nigeria is Africa’s leader on Bitcoin transfers averaging about $8 million in transfers weekly. The same report indicates that Nigeria recorded $34.4 million in trades during the second quarter of 2020. Data from Local Bitcoin also shows that Nigeria
“In a recent statement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will be taking a three-pronged approach to regulate innovation in the crypto sector which are safety, market deepening and providing solutions to problems.

“Clearly the users and regulators are moving in the right direction with regards to cryptos and hence we the operators cannot be left behind,” he said.

Chioke also stated that the priorities of the newly elected executive committee of the AIHN would be the digitisation of capital market operations and processes.

He said: “The AIHN believes this is an appropriate time for SEC to implement the full digitisation of capital market operations and processes. To that end, we are advocating for the immediate adoption of the following electronic processes and procedures such as e-filings and processing, acceptance of electronic signatures on the back of CAMA 2020, greater reliance on scanned versions of signed documents, e-offers, operators front end, middle and back office operations and compliance framework and plan to be specified by the SEC.”

Other priorities are the attainment of market determined fees for capital market operators and securing the welfare of capital Markets operators.