By Nkiruka Nnorom
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it is exploring various avenues to deepen the equities market by having more companies listed in the market and to increase the number of products in the market.
The commission said the initiative would raise the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and contribute to the development of the nation’s national economy.
The Director-General, SEC, Lamido Yuguda, disclosed this at the 2020 annual workshop of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos.
Yuguda, who was represented by Mr Stephen Falomo, Director, Lagos Zonal Office, SEC, said the commission took some strategic initiatives to boost market activities and crystallise the growth of the Nigerian capital market on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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He noted that this was done to cushion the negative impact of the global pandemic in the capital market, while adding that its committee in the drive against the pandemic has continued to provide support and equipment towards combating the pandemic and its effect.
According to him, SEC has continued to leverage on its business continuity plan and those of its operators to ensure that capital market activities were carried out at the peak of the pandemic with little or no disruption.
Yuguda assured stakeholders that the commission will be making more deliberate efforts towards attracting retail investors back into the market.
“Currently, investors with multiple accounts are being allowed to consolidate their accounts into a single one and claim their accrued dividends.
“This is in a bid to encourage more domestic participation in the market. In deepening the market, we are exploring various avenues to increase the number of companies and instruments in our market thereby raising the market capitalisation.
“We believe this is necessary for our market to continue to contribute its quota to the development of our nation’s national economy,” he said.
Speaking further, the SEC boss revealed that the commission is set to embark on reduction of time-to-market to ensure it dislodges bureaucratic bottlenecks encountered in raising funds from the market.
“This key initiative involves the ease of administrative procedures from the point of registration of market instruments with the commission to actualising funds raised from the general investing public in order to create efficiency,” Yuguda said.
According to him, the commission is currently improving its surveillance system to identify all forms of malpractice in the market.