Stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market have expressed the significance of market data as an enabler in transforming and deepening the Nigerian capital market.
Speaking at the third edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Market Data workshop with the theme “Digitization, Disruption and Financial Inclusion”, chief executive officer of NSE, Oscar Onyema said over the past few years, the finance industry in Nigeria has experienced tremendous transformation caused by disruptive technologies, with the Nigerian customers becoming accustomed to the digital experience offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook with the use of smartphones.
The NSE boss said research has proven Smartphone penetration in Nigeria is estimated at 28 per cent, with 76 per cent of internet traffic routed through mobile phone.
“In response to the exponential growth in mobile phone operation by an exploding young population, banks are adopting new technologies with customer-centric focus to make financial services more inclusive and to provide a superior customer experience in the access and use of capital,” Onyema told the audience.
He explained that in the capital market eco-system, digitalization is fast gaining momentum, as purpose built solutions are being developed to reduce redundancies, cut costs and increase efficiencies for greater transparency and alpha returns.
According to Onyema, the overall participation of the Nigerian capital market in the fourth industrial revolution is far less than that of our counterparts in developed and emerging economies.
“To ensure that Nigeria remains a globally competitive investment destination, we need to deepen the collaborative effort among market stakeholders to determine which emerging technologies to pursue within our markets and local context”, he said.
He noted that this year’s theme provides a unique opportunity to assess these three key areas of digitization, disruptive technologies and financial inclusion, to proffer solutions for the challenges facing the capital market.
Also, the acting director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Uduk, said that SEC, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other sister regulatory agencies, have made important contributions to the progress of financial inclusion through valuable guidance and active involvement in the National Financial Strategy (NFS) aimed at reducing adult exclusion from financial services to 20 per cent by 2020.
She however, said that although the challenge of financial inclusion is significant, we have a variety of powerful tools to drive progress; saying among the most promising is digital finance.
Uduk stated further that NSE is poised to contribute to and share even more insights in the collaborative quest to make the Nigerian economy, a financially inclusive one.
She added that financial inclusion is an integral part of inclusive growth strategies and should be closely integrated into macro-economic and financial policies, using digitised finance mechanisms.
“When financial systems become more inclusive, they help broaden financial markets and make policies more effective. By bringing more sections of the population into the formal sector, the effects of market-deepening initiatives are better expanded”, she said.
Uduk pointed out that when the economy is more inclusive, the gains are less elusive, saying that the market is deeper, vibrant, and more effective.
On his part the Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT Mr Olarenwaju Osibona lauded the NSE for hosting the Market Data workshop, which was geared towards harnessing the possibilities of deploying technology and innovation for the markets.
He assured stakeholders that the Federal Government was working assiduously to reposition Nigeria, as a strategic nation utilizing the fourth industrial revolution that is driven digital technology.
MICHEAL ANI and DIPO OLADEHINDE