N’Assembly, NGX, SEC, Others Hail Africa’s First Institute of Capital Market Studies

*Senate committee chair says Nigeria should be a $1tn economy

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The National Assembly, the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the academia and captains of Industry, among others, at the weekend hailed the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) for blazing the trail with the flag off of Africa’s First Institute of Capital Market Studies (ICMS).
At a well-attended ceremony of the formal opening of the institute held at the Senate building of NSUK, stakeholders not only applauded the vision of the university, but the prodigious intellect, capacity and foresight of the Director of ICMS, Prof. Uche Uwaleke which led to the establishment of the institute.
In his goodwill message, the Group Chairman of NGX, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga commended the University for pioneering an institute dedicated to capital market studies.

According to him, Nigeria as a nation and individuals more than ever before need the values of prudence, proper management of financial resources and investing for the future, given the harsh times that are currently being experienced as well as wrong paths that led to the present situation.
He recalled that NSUK was the first university in Nigeria to appoint a full professor of capital market studies in the person of Prof. Uche Uwaleke, as well as  actively partnering with the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers and other collaborations to deepen Nigerians’ knowledge of the capital market.

Kwairanga noted: “Capital market studies which cover the workings of the financial markets, ethical professional behaviour, savings and investment, financial and asset management and so many other topics is very relevant to today’s Nigeria as it teaches individuals whether private individuals or public administrators the values and principles of prudence, proper management of financial resources and investing for the future.
“These are values that we need as a nation and as individuals more than ever before given the harsh times that we are experiencing and the wrong paths that led us here.”
He pledged the support and collaboration of the NGX to the ICMS in particular and NSUK in general.
In his goodwill message, the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda enjoined the new Institute to establish a strong working relationship not only with the SEC, but also with its very own Nigerian Capital Market Institute (NCMI).
“This collaboration will foster a comprehensive approach to financial education, leveraging the expertise of both institutions for the benefit of Nigerian students and investors,” he said.

Yuguda assured that SEC was ready to provide its support and expertise to ensure the Institute’s success, adding that the Commission was committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders across the financial sector to promote financial inclusion and leverage the capital market’s potential.
He said the SEC was working with the Nigerian Educational Research & Development Council (NERDC) to develop a curriculum for financial education programmes in order to enhance capital market knowledge.
The SEC, he stressed, would work with the ICMS to create a more vibrant capital market that will serve the interest of all, in line with the SEC ten-year capital masterplan.

“We are also committed to fostering market development and innovation, maintaining a regulatory framework that ensures stability and fairness.
“I commend the leadership of Nasarawa State University for taking this initiative. I have high hopes that the Institute of Capital Market Studies will become a leading centre for financial education in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Tokunbo Abiru stated that part of what the National Assembly was doing was to correct the nation’s macroeconomic fundamentals.
According to him, the removal of fuel subsidy was aimed at correcting the distortions in the market while the foreign exchange unification seeks to abolish the inherent rent-seeking system it threw up.

Noting that it was better to pass through the initial pains of the reform policies at the moment and reap the benefits later, Abiru noted that the Nigerian should be a $1 trillion economy as opposed to the current level of about $400 billion.
He applauded Uwaleke’ s strides and vision as well as NSUK’s pioneering role in setting up the ICMS, assuring of the support of the National Assembly.
In his remarks, Also,, the Vice Chancellor,  NSUK, Prof. Suleiman Bala Mohammed stated that the founding fathers of the university established it as an institution with a universal approach to learning.

He noted that though it is a state-owned University, NSUK is more cosmopolitan than many federal universities, and assured that the university would work with all stakeholders to develop the country.
He said, “NSUK has a cream of intellectuals that can hold their own in the global environment. We have been able to attract and retain the best brains.
“The Institute (ICMS) was conceived by Uwaleke and I have no doubt that he will succeed. We are glad that what he told me about the potential of the institute is achievable based on what we are seeing today.

“Our vision is to provide a platform for academics and intellectual and capital market experts to identify issues and address them in Nigeria and globally.
“I assure you that the university will provide all the enabling environment for the institute to thrive. Uwaleke is an embodiment of knowledge and humility.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the ICMS Director, Prof. Uche Uwaleke  is the first university-based institute of capital market studies in Africa.
He said: ” When we did the proposal and sent yo the Vice Chancellor, he quickly fell for it and approved and sent it to the Senate. By July of last year, Senate had already approved the establishment of this institute.

“Two months after, the  Vice Chancellor also ensured that the programmes were sent to the Senate for approval . Senate also approved the four programmes we were starting with. November last year, the Vice Chancellor inaugurated the board of the institute.”

He thanked the Vice Chancellor in particular for his vision, adding that the VC wants the university to be a reference point when it comes to research.

Noting that the ICMS is a research-based institute, and not a training institute for players in the capital market, Uwaleke explained that its programmes are for Master’s and Doctoral students.

Also, in attendance at the flag off of the ICMS was the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Shaakaa Chira; Prof. Magnus Kpakol, a former Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo;

Senate Committee Chairman on Science and Tech; and a former Vice Chancellor of NSUK, Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, among several other distinguished academics and personalities

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