Succor may have come the way of investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FSD Africa, at the weekend, sealed a 450,000 deal, aimed at strengthening the regulatory structure and investment protection function of the commission.
The deal is expected to assist SEC to fund an institutional capacity audit, towards identifying strengths and areas of improvement in its operations, as well as provide support to implement recommendations.
At the signing ceremony held at the British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, at the weekend, the Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Laure Beaufils, said for the nation’s capital market to attract the much-sought investment and boost investors’ confidence, there is a need to establish strong regulations of international standards.
According to her, efforts by FSD Africa, supported by the Department for International Development, and the British Government, to implement the initiative in the capital market, were because the sector helps to unlock capital that can be invested in the real economy to create more jobs and boost inclusive growth.
She pointed out that through the capital market, investments are channeled in infrastructure for the long-term development of the nation’s economy in the areas of job creation, small businesses and ultimately, inclusive growth. She stated that the visit of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Permanent Minister from UK, signified that lots of businesses and investors from the country are ready to bring investments into Nigeria.
“The Permanent Minister from UK was here recently and hosted an event, specifically on financial services, in recognition of the importance of this sector here. Also, the Lord Mayor of the City of London came, the only country in Africa that she visited this year.
“This is a testament to the fact that lots of businesses and investors in particular, in the UK, are really looking at Nigeria and are interested, and capital market also attracts that international capital, making known to the world that Nigeria is open for business with strong regulators who will protect the investments.
“The collaboration is about international cooperation, about international finance, about being reassured that it is safe to do business here. Capital markets have an essential role to play to help unlock capital that can be invested in the real economy and that can contribute to job creation and inclusive growth. I am delighted that the SEC and FSD Africa will be signing a new partnership agreement today.
“It is a testament to the importance we attach to this issue and to our commitment to deepen and broaden our trade and investment relationship with Nigeria. I very much look forward to working with the SEC on this in the future,” she said. The Acting Director-General of the SEC, Mary Uduk, said the synergy would further strengthen the commission’s ability to regulate the capital market.
She explained that the commission will provide 22,000 pounds under the arrangement, as part of its contributions to support the efforts aimed at promoting a world-class market. Uduk added that the synergy will also contribute to the continued development of the market by facilitating access to capital by both the private and public sectors and enhance the competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market as a global investment destination.
SEC Nigeria is excited about the cooperation with FSD Africa and the tremendous potential the various programmes hold in complementing our efforts to enhance capacity and further strengthen our ability to regulate the capital market.“This collaboration will no doubt contribute to the continued development of our market by facilitating access to capital by both the private and public sectors and enhance the competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market as a global investment destination.
“This is a dedicated MOU that will help us strengthen our institutional capacity and look at what we have institutionally and help us strengthen areas that needed improvement. A strong SEC will give us the capacity to drive all the initiatives in the 10 year master of the capital market,” she said.The Director, FSD Africa, Mark Napier, said: “Well-functioning capital markets can play a vital role in support of inclusive economic growth by channeling long-term finance into infrastructure and other large-scale projects that create jobs and improve access to markets. Strengthening regulatory capacity in capital markets is an essential pre-condition for building investor confidence.”