The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reaffirmed the vital role that the capital market plays in the development of any country through the provision of long-term funds for infrastructure development, among others. SEC Managing Director Mr. Lamido Yuguda said this when a team from the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) visited the Commission in Abuja last weekend to work with the SEC on the development of the economy.
The SEC CEO said the capital market could actually do more in the area of providing the necessary infrastructure for the country to support the government in its development efforts.
He said: “Our collective economic power is greater than the government and in many countries you find that the capital market is actually funding the government. When you save, the financing is used to create economic value that actually improves your standard of living and it’s a win-win.
You get financial returns and also get utility from the investments and this is actually achievable.
Yuguda praised the collaboration with the NESG, saying the two organizations could do more for the economic development of the country. “In the capital market, it is a welcome development that we are discussing with the NESG because there is something that really needs to happen in this country.
When you look at our policy environment, in many areas it is not conducive to returning capital to investors and we are working hard to address that,” he noted. The SEC CEO noted that telecom companies succeeded because no one got the services for free because everyone paid.
“We all pay for the services, no one gets the services for free, but when we move on our roads we say no, we don’t want to pay for it. In other countries, people pay for their roads and they are happy to do so, because the roads are good.
“We need to have a collaboration with a group like NESG. Once we can fix things, investors will be ready to invest and there will be returns,” he added.
In his address, NESG Managing Director, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, expressed concern that the banking sector was overstretched, urging governments and businesses to look to the capital market for their financing needs. Jaiyeola said that the transactions could be restructured to raise bonds, bills and all those things that will finance whatever needs to be financed without going through the banks.
He said: “The stock market has to take the bull by the horns or we’re going to be in perpetual debt as a nation and that won’t help us. That’s one of the reasons we say let’s re-engage, how can we get an investment and securities law that will ensure that the financing needed for development in Nigeria is prioritized and then we can finance Nigeria longer term.
Short-term financing cannot help us; we need to start moving to the long term. We are passionate about this and we need to raise these funds for the development funding needed in Nigeria. Also speaking, the Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, SEC, Mr. Reginald Karawusa, said that the current ISA was signed into law by then President Musa YarÁdua in 2007, making it now 15 years old. .
Karawusa said the SEC has set up an industry-wide committee to rework the law, adding that several market experts have been involved in the overhaul of the law as well as input from stakeholders.
According to him, “a project was tabled at the 8th assembly, unfortunately the assembly left before having voted on the bill. Passing the bill will be an important thing for the capital market. There are new provisions that will strengthen the SEC to regulate effectively to make us a premier regulator to increase the number of products