By Onu Okorie
The Securities and Exchange Commission has said that it has been implementing measures aimed at encouraging more listings by creating new Rules and amending existing ones, improving general review processes, continuing engagements with issuers, advisers and other critical stakeholders.
Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda who stated this recently at the Nigeria Exchange Limited’s CEO Roundtable held in Lagos, said the Commission and the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited have moved to make the processes involved in listing more efficient and cost effective by streamlining the approval process between the SEC and the NGX.
Yuguda stated that last year, the Commission collaborated with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA to inaugurate the Securities Issuers Forum (SIF) which was aimed at providing an opportunity for Issuers to engage directly with regulators on pertinent regulatory issues. The objectives of the forum, amongst others he said, are to maintain regular contact with the regulator; promote sound corporate governance and ethical conduct; advise the regulator on regulations affecting companies & issuers; promote healthy competition; and maintain an enabling business environment by monitoring issues of direct relevance to members.
He said, “let me reiterate that the SEC is continually focused on increasing the visibility and attractiveness of our market, and will continue to focus on building and sustaining a fair, transparent and efficient capital market.
“The Commission will also continue to embrace the ease-of-doing-business principle by simplifying its processes and enhancing time-to-market through the elimination of superfluous requirements that lead to inordinate delays in capital raising and other capital market operations. This is particularly important so that the market be deepened further and provide avenue for hitherto inadmissible entities to be eligible for listing”.
The SEC Boss said the theme “Creating the enabling ecosystem for accessing capital from the Nigerian capital markets, resonates with the mandate of the Securities and Exchange Commission of developing and regulating the market while protecting investors.
He stated that the demutualization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which led to the emergence of the current NGX Group has brought with it a renewed focus on expanding the market, by consolidating on the successes achieved through the traditional methods of capital raising while working with important stakeholders to introduce new sources of financing.
“The Commission welcomes the sound initiatives of NGX for continued engagement with experts to share their perspectives on changes that would lead to the much desired expansion of the market. This effort would not have come at a better time than now when economies are just beginning to face the devastating economic reality of the Ukraine and Russia crisis, which reared its head, just as nations were still grappling with the health and economic challenges posed by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“You may be aware that the Commission is in the implementation phase of a comprehensive market and institutional reform program – the Capital Market Masterplan that is intended to reposition the Nigerian Capital Market to be globally competitive. The Commission has successfully completed a comprehensive review of the Masterplan. The reviewed plan is expected to guide further development of the capital market so as to attract more funds for economic growth and development” he stated.
The Commission the SEC DG said, is also making concerted efforts to ensure the repeal of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 and the passage of a new Investments and Securities Bill into law. This is to align the law with current realities and global trends in capital market regulation, including growing changes in market practices, processes and products.
“We have consistently focussed on the creation of an ecosystem in which governments, entrepreneurs and other issuers can efficiently access capital. Stakeholders must however look further to introduce more products, leveraging on the emerging trend of financial technology” he added.