Following its bid to strengthen the diversity of the capital market by redefining it as an attractive destination for technology companies, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has said that it is targeting $20billion technology sector with specialised listing board on the bourse.
The African tech sector is fast growing with start-ups raising over $4 billion between 2015 and 2021 with combined valuations surpassing $20 billion according to a Disrupt Africa report.
The NGX recently held a NGX Technology Board Webinar to drive comprehensive discussions and cogent actions to develop African technology.
The event with a theme, “Enabling the Next Wave of Growth for Technology Companies in Africa,” had astute professionals in both the public and private sectors express optimism about the proposed launch of NGX Technology Board to encourage more Tech listings and contribute substantially to the proliferation of opportunities for African technology firms.
Opening the event with his remarks, the Chairman of NGX, Abubakar Mahmoud, represented by NGX board member, Erelu Angela Adebayo, said Nigeria is home to several unicorns like Flutterwave, Andela, Jumia, Opay which have valuations surpassing $1 billion.
He said, “As a sustainable exchange championing Africa’s growth, NGX is positioned to support the growth of the next wave of technology companies. It is stimulating the capital market, providing a tailored platform for tech companies in Nigeria and wider Africa to access growth capital whilst providing exit opportunities for all investors. The next wave of growth for home-bred technology companies needs to be anchored on sustainability, agility, collaboration and digital innovation and these are elements that NGX represents.”
Director General, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, represented by Dayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, while delivering his goodwill message noted that with the several developments recorded in the technology space, Africa remains a continent with the highest potential when it comes to tech and innovations and as such, its ability to determine its future digitally must be accelerated by strengthening its technological capabilities.
According to him, “Africa has the potential to grow into a technological giant with the right enablement and SEC will support laudable initiatives aimed at improving on the capacity of our market to develop a robust ecosystem for the Nigerian capital market.”
In his opening remarks, the Chief executive Officer, NGX, Mr Temi Popoola said, “The Exchange in conjunction with other major stakeholders including the SEC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) and Pension Fund Operations Association of Nigeria (PenOp) are working tirelessly to launch and on-board a new asset class. “The Specialised Technology Board aims to encourage the listing of companies in the Technology space, provide increased transparency, and visibility on foreign investment activities in tech companies and local tech startups.”
Giving the keynote address, the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate, CBN, Mrs Aisha Ahmad noted that tech had grown from an enabler of business to a fully-fledged sector as some of the largest companies in the world like Meta and Google. “Africa is a $2.7trn economy and for this growth to translate into broader economic impacts, we need more local investor participation and I’m particularly excited about the NGX’s Technology Board plan which will help grow the listings of Nigerian and Africa tech companies. It will aid price discovery of tech industry valuations, and channel capital to tech and other sectors, ”she said.