By Peter Egwuatu & Nkiruka Nnorom
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yesterday disclosed that efforts are on to ensure that Nigeria joins the advanced economies to float the first electronic Initial Public Offering, e-IPO before the end of 2019.
The Commission also informed that the physical share certificates have fully been dematerialised, while reaffirming its commitment to developing the capital market in line with the 10-Year Master Plan.
Disclosing this during the SEC’s two day Journalists Academy in Uyo, the Commission’s Acting Director-General, Mary Uduk, who spoke on the theme, “Capital Market Master Plan: The Journey So Far”, noted that as a result of the market crash in 2008, investors have lost confidence and are yet to return to the market.
She stated that the Commission has carried out 101 initiatives, since the implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan four years ago.
She explained that SEC aims to expand capital market’s role in nation’s economic development in general.
Explaining the success achieved so far, Uduk stated: “We have ensured that all share certificates are fully dematerialized. This is to say that physical share certificates are now fully converted into electronic form in Nigeria. This initiative has further enhanced the market efficiency and transparency.
“The recapitalization of capital market operators was aimed at improving the baseline infrastructure of the Capital Market Operators, CMOs, improve their market access and service delivery as well as enable them comply fully with the new minimum operating standard set by the Commission.
“These were aimed at helping the market develop robust controls; strong governance framework and effective human capital. As at December 30, 2016 which was the deadline given for all CMOs to recapitalize, 384 out of 449 CMOs had fully complied. More of them have done so afterwards.”
She explained further that the National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF) that was established to compensate investors for pecuniary losses, boost confidence and encourage the domestic retail investors is back to the market.
She said, “In the same vein, the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (eDMMS) was developed to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the market and also enable direct payment of investors’ dividends into their nominated bank accounts.”