BusinessDay

Nigeria’s finance minister says investor confidence will accelerate capital market growth

Investor confidence is seen as one of the key ingredients that will accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s capital market and increase both domestic and foreign investor participation.

This was stated by the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed during the launch of the revised Capital Market Master Plan in Lagos Thursday.

Represented by the Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, Ahmed while pledging the continued support of the government to strengthen the regulator to effectively do its job of regulating and developing the Capital Market said the market should be characterized by a high level of compliance with ethical standards, deep liquidity and sophistication, good corporate governance, and a strong domestic investor base.

“Nigeria needs a capital market that broadens access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and distribution, providing capital to small and medium scale enterprises, and catalysing housing finance.

“I consider the revised Capital Market Master Plan a veritable tool which the Capital Market must use as it drives key initiatives towards achieving the Country’s economic growth objectives.

Ahmed said the implementation of the Master Plan is one of the key initiatives in the 40- Deliverable Presidential mandate of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

This the Minister said underscores the fact that capital market growth resonates with this Administration’s unwavering commitment to deepening and re-positioning the financial market as a key anchor to achieving a private sector led development of our economy as emphasized in the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives.

“This Administration and especially my Office has supported the Capital Market Master Plan implementation efforts since inception.

“The Master Plan, which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the Market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our Country in the top 20 global economies by the year 2025.

Ahmed commended the SEC, CAMMIC and the Capital Market community for the laudable achievements especially in the areas of Dematerialization of share certificates, E- Dividend Mandate Management System, facilitation of access to alternative investments like SUKUK, enhancing the Commodities Trading Eco-system, National Savings Strategy, Demutualization of the NSE, and the ongoing review of the ISA among others.

According to her, “I am also aware of ongoing efforts on other initiatives like the Direct Cash Settlement, introduction of Derivatives, Financial Literacy, enhancing market liquidity, incentives for Listings, growth of Collective Investment Schemes and leveraging Fintech solutions in the capital market.

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“I assure you of Government’s support in all these efforts and I am confident in your ability to successfully drive these initiatives to fruition. As you chart the course for the next phase of the Capital Market Master Plan’s implementation, I assure you of the Federal Government’s support and look forward to working with you to realize the Plan’s objectives,” she stated.

In his remarks, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, stated that the Master Plan is designed to chart a strategic direction while providing clarity of vision and a robust road map required to facilitate innovation, investment, growth and expansion of empowering opportunities in Nigeria and beyond.

He said, “Our vision is “To be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyses Nigeria’s economic growth and development”; We believe the Plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with other stakeholders to effectively drive its implementation.

Yuguda stated that the main objective of the review was to produce an updated version of the document primarily to: Engage stakeholders on the current level of market development and opportunities for further capital market growth;Review and update the assumptions and vision of the Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) and develop targets for the various thematic areas of the CMMP; and Introduce a Strategy Map and KPIs for the CMMP and use the Balanced Scorecard Approach for performance measurement;

Other objectives the DG said it to align existing initiatives with new ones based on targets and strategic objectives; Develop an implementation plan for initiatives with clear milestones, deliverables, timelines, resource requirements, and dependencies; Identify challenges, opportunities and risks associated with the CMMP implementation and recommend ways of effective and more efficient implementation; and Identify and incorporate new product ideas and initiatives to deepen and grow the Capital Market.

Yuguda commended the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, for her unwavering support and commitment to the implementation of the Master Plan and the development of our capital market; the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) for their partnership and funding support in the review of the Capital Market Master Plan; Andrew Nevin and his team at PwC for a comprehensive and professional re vision of the Master Plan; and CAMMIC, and the entire capital market community for providing valuable insights during the review process.

Victor Nkiri representing Financial Sector Deepening Africa said that the Nigerian capital market has gained prominence among its peers, having increased in size, depth and sophistication in terms of diversified products adding that the capital market continues to play a key role in the economy.

Nkiri said the revised CMMP will provide a blue print for Nigeria’s capital market to remain up to date with emerging trends and future realities, even as it continues to attract increased local and foreign investors participation.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Capital Market Implementation Council, Kanyinsola Ajayi (Professor) said the vision “To be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyzes Nigeria’s economic growth and development” is ambitious but achievable.

He said, “We will need to work together as a market, across the financial sector and with the Government to ensure we ease all bottlenecks and address policy gaps that will help unleash the power of the private sector to drive the market growth we all aspire for. We believe the Plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with all our stakeholders under the leadership of SEC”.

Represented by Dotun Suleiman, Ajayi said the Revised Master Plan has proposed changes to the implementation governance structure to make it more efficient, flexible and focused on providing positive for the market and all stakeholders. Consequently, I would like to implore the DG to ensure that this structure is fully implemented and manned as proposed.

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