Stockbrokers in the Nigerian capital market are hopeful that the future is very bright as they look forward to a market with 40 million to 70 million investors, from the paltry 5 million that invest in the market today.
Emeka Madubuike, chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (AHSON), says they also expect a state-of-the-art trading platform that promises great customers and operators experience, $1trillion market capitalisation and one that is the main driver of economic development.
Speaking at the annual capital market night with the theme ‘Investment opportunities in frontier market – the African perspective,’ Madubuike says “I believe that this market is looking up. As operators, we need to brace up for change in operators and market regulations.”
The AHSON chairman notes that this positive outlook calls for a lot of hard work, integrity, transparency and collaborative efforts to confront the obvious changes that lie ahead. “We believe that by working together, all of our members will survive in one form or the other. Our association –the front-line operators of the capital market, has gone through very difficult time in the last five years since 2008, but thankfully we are beginning to see a recovery, which gives us a lot of hope going forward,” he states.
Uche Molokwu, head, Lagos zonal office, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who represented Arunma Oteh, director-general, SEC, says: “We at the Commission are partners in progress. We cannot regulate the market if there are no operators. In the past two years, there have been efforts towards building strong institution.
“We are already seeing results and this will continue. In few years to come, this market will be global investors delight. SEC is not interested in flushing out operators but instilling professionalism in their practices.”
Also at the event, Olusegun Osunkeye, chairman, Lafarge Cement WAPCO, says stockbrokers words should be their bonds. “I want to commend you for restoring investor confidence in the market. You will need to maintain a cordial relationship with regulators – the SEC, NSE, and Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. You will also need to train and retrain yourself to meet up with global standards. Despite the challenges in Nigeria, the nation is still a good investment destination. This is an outcome of my interaction with foreign investors. They believe that in Nigeria, there is high risk and high return-on-investment (RoI),” he says.
Osunkeye further says: “Stockbrokers should join ASHON in their advocacy. For an association to be virile, the members must support it. From experience, if you think that you don’t need the association, you are making a mistake.”