Engaging issuers on capital raising opportunities to facilitate increased participation in the capital market, development of new products to meet funding needs and addressing issues relating to compliance with regulatory requirements cannot be over emphasised.
Therefore, it was quite apt that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) is set to inaugurate the Securities Issuers Forum (SIF) via webinar.
The decision for issuers forum inauguration was recently disclosed by SEC Head of Corporate Communications, Mrs. Efe Ebelo in Abuja.
The event had in attendance chief executive officers and company secretaries of public companies.
“The objectives of issuers forums are, among others, to: Maintain regular contact with the regulator and policy makers; advise the regulator and policy makers on regulations affecting companies/issuers and conduct research, organise conferences, roundtable discussions and other events for the benefit of members,” SEC stated.
Also, the forum is to promote sound corporate governance and ethical conduct among members; and promote healthy competitiveness among members and maintain an enabling business environment by monitoring issues of direct relevance to members.
According to SEC, the need for a forum for issuers has become apparent in order to enable issuers monitor and respond to developments in financial regulation and/or government policies.
“The forum will also serve as a medium of regular engagement between SEC and issuers of securities in order to address challenges, improve the business environment and enhance contribution of the capital market to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
“It is expected that with the establishment of SIF, the SEC will be better positioned to engage issuers on capital raising opportunities to facilitate increased participation in the capital market; development of new products to meet funding needs and addressing issues relating to compliance with regulatory requirements. In all, SIF has the potential to shorten the distance between SEC and issuers of securities,” the SEC stated.
The establishment of SIF has the potential for far-reaching direct and indirect impact on other stakeholders by provision of a wider range of investment opportunities and portfolios for investors, improved access to capital to fund expansion projects and new ventures, deepening and broadening the capital market and increasing its contribution to the nation’s development.
Recall that in another development a few months ago, federal government did call for retail investment to let citizens invest in the capital market.
On this, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had noted that retail investment would make citizens invest in the market in an easy and simple way.
She, who stated this at the 5th Budget Seminar webinar held by SEC in Abuja, advised capital market operators to consider retail investments to enable ordinary citizens in the country to invest in the market.
Mrs. Ahmed’s position is that SEC should evolve a savings policy and programme aimed at encouraging Nigerians of all economic status to actively participate in the capital market. This is with a view to unlocking the vast potential in the market.
She had called on the Commission to leverage on technology and innovations which could ease the processes of trading on the exchange and ensure that ordinary citizens could participate in the capital market.
In furtherance of the objective, the minister stated that the federal government had directed SEC, to marshal out a savings policy and programme that would encourage citizens of all economic standing to actively participate in Nigerian capital market as a means of unlocking the potential in the market.
The Honourable Minister had remarked that the capital market served as an important channel through which government budget and economic infrastructure deficits could be financed.
“Past experiences have shown that the capital market has been supportive in providing the necessary funds to finance governments’ projects. Government is committed to introducing more of these instruments in partnership with the capital market, to finance projects for economic growth.
The Director-General (DG) of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, did say that the capital market had the capacity to roll out innovative products to support the country’s infrastructure needs and financing. “This is necessary for us to be able to effectively compete with the rest of the world,” he said.
While Patience Oniha, DG of Debt Management Office (DMO), noted that the government had a role as an enabler and pioneer, creating a platform for the market to thrive, Aisha Dahir-Umar, DG National Pension Commission (PenCom), said that the pension sector was ready to invest in the market.