In recognition of the importance of enhanced coordination and cooperation concerning issues of common regulatory interest, the Securities and Exchange Commission Nigeria has pledged to work with her Ghanaian counterpart to achieve desired results.
This is in order to nurture market innovation and fair competition as well as to promote efficiency in regulatory oversight within the west African sub region.
Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated this during a meeting with a delegation from the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission in Abuja, Wednesday.
Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Corporate Services Mr. Ibrahim Boyo said the SEC Nigeria signed a Securities-Regulation-MOU with SEC Ghana in Accra on August 27, 2003 to foster co-operation and ensure orderly, fair and transparent financial markets across our jurisdictions,
Yuguda therefore reiterated SEC Nigeria’s readiness to consult, cooperate and exchange information to achieve our common mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient securities markets that facilitate capital formation;
According to him, “It is highly commendable that SEC Ghana launched its maiden Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) in May, 2021 to serve as the blueprint for developing the Ghanaian capital market over the next ten years.
“The SEC Nigeria had just concluded a mid-term review of its 10-year Capital Market Masterplan (2015 – 2025). The review was necessitated by the need to consolidate on the successes achieved and to incorporate important developments occasioned by the dynamism of the capital market and the global economy;
The DG disclosed that the Commission recently recorded a landmark achievement on approving the first wholly-electronic public offering of equities in 2021, stating that the Offer had a combined feature of price discovery through a book-building exercise to Qualified Institutional Investors, and subsequent offer to Retail Investors at the determined price;
The SEC Boss stated that the derivatives market is also coming on stream with potential implications for market depth and liquidity, through the development of risk management products;
He emphasised that the SEC Nigeria has achieved quite a lot through careful implementation of sound initiatives, which include: Introduction of Rules on Green Bonds to promote issuance of debt instruments for financing of environmentally friendly projects and to provide the regulatory framework necessary for sustainability finance in Nigeria; Creation of a Fintech and Innovation Division dedicated to products and services rooted in information technology; Dematerialization of share certificates; E-Dividend and Direct Cash Settlement.
Other achievements Yuguda said are the development and implementation of the Roadmap for FinTech in the Nigerian Capital Market; Development of the Crowdfunding Regulatory Framework, which could potentially transform Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises financing in Nigeria; and release of new Rules on Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) to ensure there is no loop-hole for financial crimes like money laundering through digital assets traded in our market.
Yuguda however admitted that every change comes with challenges adding that some of the key issues SEC Nigeria faces in its regulatory role include: the fact that the much-desired capital market expansion is limited by economic forces outside our immediate control such as risk free interest rates, recession and foreign exchange related challenges; Low funding for regulatory capacity and infrastructure development; Proliferation of Ponzi Schemes
as well as global financial risks including the implications of declining economic growth.
In his response, DG SEC Ghana Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh said his organisation has been leveraging on the MoU which it signed with Nigeria few years ago to develop the capital market in Ghana.
He said, “We remain committed as we work together to boost our capital markets and push for our integration of the capital market in the sub-region.
“Nigeria and Ghana have what it takes to ensure that the sub-region has a well integrated and functional capital market.”
He said that the integration of the capital market in ECOWAS is vital as it would assist in raising the much needed funding for development projects for the sub-region particularly in the area of infrastructure.
Tetteh said given what has been happening since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative for capital markets in Africa to create a market capital to raise funds within sub-region for infrastructure challenges.
He told the SEC DG that the Capital Market Masterplan in Ghana is being implemented under four major pillars.
The pillars are improving diversity of investments products and market liquidity, increasing investors base, improving the market infrastructure and market services and improving regulations, investors confidences and enforcement.