THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has urged participants in the capital market to embrace innovation in all operations and regulations of the market.
At the opening ceremony of a two-day international capital market conference Wednesday, in Lagos, in partnership with the University of Lagos, SEC Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, said that financial innovation was germane for the conception and delivery of a dynamic industrial society.
She explained that “as we move into the future, we need to continuously embrace innovation in the way we carry out our market operations and regulation.
“Market participants and regulators have to continually familiarise themselves with the rapid ever-changing economic, regulatory and business environment.
“Beyond the conventional capital market products of equities and bonds as well as manual regulatory processes, the players and regulators in the Nigerian capital market are introducing new and innovative processes and products.
“Some of our processes that were previously manual and inefficient are being automated.”
She described the theme of the conference, “Leveraging the Capital Market for Economic Growth and Development” as apt and timely, given the pressing needs to grow the nation’s economy and achieve sustainable development.
According to her, the capital market can serve as a key catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as it offers a credible platform for obtaining long- term financing.
Uduk said, “long-term and affordable funds are required for businesses to thrive and in turn contribute to employment, growth and development.
“Beyond capital market’s contribution to economic growth, we aim at the larger goal of economic development.”
The acting DG said that capital markets across the world had products and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth and development.
She said that many of such products were available in Nigeria, but there were aspects that were still untapped, thereby limiting the realisation of the nation’s potentials.
According to her, one major initiative to tap this potential was the ten-year Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP), which launched by SEC in 2014.
The plan has over 100 initiatives to springboard the capital market “as one of the world’s deepest and most liquid, as well as the largest in Africa by 2025, is also aimed at ensuring that the market contributes much more to the socio-economic development of the nation,” Uduk said.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Dr. Shamsudeen Allison, said that the government was interested in the growth and development of the capital market.
He noted that government would continue to promote local businesses and ensure the provision of an enabling environment for businesses in the state.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics & Research) University of Lagos, Prof Oluwole Familoni said the conference was a good forum to discuss and proffer solutions to some of the problems being faced by the investing public.
Familoni was hopeful that at the end of the conference, the capital market would be better positioned for the development of the economy.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Emerging Africa Capital Group, Mrs Toyin Sanni, said that lack of financial literacy makes one to make poor financial decisions.
Speaking on ‘Financial Literacy, Digital Finance, Inclusion and the Democratisation of Wealth in Africa’, she stated that financial literacy was paramount for growth and development of any country.
She attributed illegal wealth acquisition and hoarding to ignorance of proper financial planning.