August 21, 2020/SEC Nigeria
- The Nigerian capital market community held its first meeting for the year on Thursday, August 20, 2020. This meeting was earlier scheduled for April this year but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank the Almighty God for sparing our lives up to this moment, to witness yesterday’s and today’s meeting. We also pray for His continuous protection and guidance as we continue to stay safe.
- To ensure compliance with the directive of the Federal Government in combating the spread of Covid-19, the meeting was held virtually with about 240 participants.
- The meeting marked the first interaction between the newly-inaugurated Executive Management team of the Commission and the capital market community. We formally introduced the new management of the Commission to the market; consisting of myself, Lamido Yuguda as the Director General and Messrs Reginald Karawusa, Ibrahim Boyi and Temidayo Obisan as the Executive Commissioners of Legal and Enforcement, Operations and Corporate Services respectively. We all count it a great privilege to serve the Nigerian capital market in this capacity.
- At the meeting, we assured the market of our collective commitment to continue implementing the ongoing initiatives of the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan and other related initiatives targeted at developing our capital market. We further promised to continuously seek ways of improving these initiatives, while we introduce new ones, all to the benefit of market stakeholders.
- In order to increase the visibility and attractiveness of our market, we shall work towards maintaining an environment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to the market, zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practices.
- We need to restore investor confidence and attract the retail and young investor into the market. Thus, we will ensure strict enforcement of our Rules and Regulations, strengthen our enforcement regime and clamp down on illegal operators luring unsuspecting investors with various Ponzi Schemes.
- As is the practice, presentations were made by various technical committees and different participants in the Nigerian capital market. From these presentations it was observed that the outbreak of Covid -19 did not halt operations in the Nigerian capital market, as the Commission and most market operators still performed their functions remotely
- The continuous operation of the capital market was largely due to the existence of business continuity plans of The Commission, Exchanges, The Central Securities Clearing Systems, as well as other operators in the market. In addition, despite the limitations to hold large physical gatherings due to the pandemic, the Commission had successfully hosted two important events such as:
- a webinar presented by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with the Commission, and themed The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)- Implications on the Nigerian capital market
- a webinar for existing and prospective retail investors in the Nigerian capital market, themed, ‘Investing In Difficult Times’.
- To support the Federal Government’s fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Commission set up the Capital Market Support Committee on Covid-19, headed by Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, to raise funds and offer various supports towards combating Covid-19.
- With the support of various market participants, the committee, on behalf of the Nigerian capital market, has so far donated 5 ambulances to various state governments as well as the Federal Capital Territory and the Presidential Task Force on Covid -19. In addition, the committee has distributed several face masks, infra-red thermometers and other medical equipment, including food items. Going forward, the Committee intends to develop a capital market sponsored Nigerian strategic healthcare infrastructure fund.
- In furtherance of the initiative to infuse capital market education into the curriculum of Basic and Secondary schools, various trade-groups have supported the efforts of the Financial Literacy Technical Committee (FLTC) with the sum of N78.3 Million Naira, and of this amount, N34.7 Million had been expended. The FLTC reported that with the support from the market, a stand-alone curriculum on the capital market studies for Basic and Senior Secondary schools has been developed and infused into relevant carrier subjects. This has been ratified by Joint Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE) and the National Council on Education (NCE).
- The next phase of the Committee’s initiative is the development of teacher’s guide, printing of the teacher’s guide and its distribution. This phase would be concluded with the training of the teachers.
- In March 2020, the Commission successfully hosted its inaugural international conference on the Nigerian Commodities market. The lead paper at the Conference was presented by Prof. Doyin Salami, and the conference was well attended, with about 350 delegates. Some notable delegates were:
- The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria (represented)
- The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning,
- The Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, representing the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Chairman Senate Committee on Capital Market and other institutions.
- Honourable Babangida Ibrahim, Chairman House Committee on Capital Market and other institutions.
The Communique for the conference has been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Finance for further action.
- Meanwhile, as part of implementing some of the resolutions from the conference, the Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem visited major stakeholders and encouraged them to actively participate in the activities of commodities exchanges. Furthermore, to ensure the existence of a conducive regulatory framework for the commodities ecosystem, the Commission has commenced work on the rules on warehousing and collateral management. These rules, as well as the review of Commodity Exchange’s Rules, are at an advanced stage.
- The deliberations at yesterday’s meeting were fruitful and we look forward to more interactions in our bid to advance the Nigerian capital market.
- One thing that was also emphasized at the meeting is the need for collaboration among market stakeholders so as to have a capital market of our dreams. The Commission is open to engagements with stakeholders that will foster new partnerships and strengthen our commitments towards the development and transformation of the capital market.
- For all that we have achieved and will still achieve, we recognize the role of the press. We therefore request that you continue to support us in disseminating our activities, educating the investors, reporting capital market news professionally.
- Thank you and good morning.
Lamido A. Yuguda
Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria