THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the implementation of the 10-year master plan would enable it develop a bond market, capable of meeting the country’s infrastructure deficit estimated at $3.9 trillion over the next 30 years.
Besides, the commission added that it would also attract the needed liquidity and make the market become a global financial hub, offering opportunities into other parts of Africa.
The Director-General of SEC, Arumah Oteh, while speaking at the unveiling of the master plan, in Abuja, at the weekend, explained that the committee has been involved in a lot of initiatives, aimed at deepening the market and ensuring that confidence is restored among investors.
The SEC boss explained that the plan is also aimed at building a capital market that would also focus on housing finance, in order to enable the country to close down the 17 million housing unit deficit, while supporting entrepreneurship by doing more for SMEs and start-ups.
Meanwhile, Oteh has urged operators and experts in the nation’s bourse to introduce initiatives that would help explore opportunities in the market to create wealth for Nigerians.
Oteh, who made the appeal on the sidelines of the technical session of the fourth yearly capital market retreat in Abuja, explained that the capital market is a major investment market for ordinary Nigerians, which according to her, would also serve as a catalytic tool for alleviating poverty in the country if properly leveraged.
“We want a capital market that combines all the elements needed to support Nigeria actualize her aspirations of peace and prosperity for all citizens,” she continued.
Oteh disclosed that the CMC has been involved with key initiatives that have improved the performance of the market.
She said: “We have been involved in ensuring that investor confidence is restored by adopting a posture of zero tolerance to wrongdoing while strengthening our enforcement machinery through partnerships with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigeria Police Force. We instituted legal proceedings against over 260 individuals and entities for various forms of market infractions seeking to disgorge all illegally gotten wealth and restitute investors.
“We have revamped our investor protection and dispute resolution mechanism by strengthening the SEC’s quasi-judicial Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC), developing a robust complaint management framework, setting up the National Investor Protection Fund and strengthening Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) framework.”
The initiatives, she said, have led to a market that has witnessed remarkable progress in all spheres, which is evident in the domestic bond market.
“It is attracting different categories of issuers including State governments, government agencies and companies. Current bond market capitalization is at N9.95 trillion comprising N4.10 trillion of FGN bonds, N4.35 trillion of AMCON bonds and N1.5 trillion state government and corporate bonds.
“The market is attracting triple-A rated issuers like the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) both of whom have issued Naira-denominated bonds. With benchmark yield curve of up to 20 years, the domestic bond market is well positioned to serve as an important source of capital to tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit,” she said.
The SEC boss described high level poverty level as one of the challenges that Nigeria have continued to grapple with despite efforts of government to reduce the incidence through policy reforms.
“Let me say that one of the challenges we face as a country is poverty. The government and all of us as stakeholders are concerned about this and will therefore support all initiatives that can address this problem.
“I hope that through the various issues we will discuss in this session, we can share experiences on how this forum can be used to truly create wealth for ordinary Nigerians”, Oteh added.
She cited the experiences in Malaysia, Kenya and other countries where the launching of the capital market masterplan had immensely deepened the market capitalisation and created opportunities for inclusive growth of their economies, she expressed the optimism that Nigeria’s 10-year capital market master plan would impact positively on the poor and micro enterprises if all stakeholders remain committed to its implementation.