The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its commitment to the protection of investors in the Nigerian capital market, saying its current efforts are geared towards the building of a market that is transparent and efficient.
The Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Ms. Daisy Ekineh, stated this at an investor conference organised by the Association of Assets Custodians of Nigeria in London last month.
In a paper delivered on her behalf by Director, Research and Planning, SEC, Mrs. Bibiana Okoroafor, Ekineh said the commission was also collaborating and engaging with fellow regulators and supervisors to build a stable financial system through information sharing and capacity building.
According to her, the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market has embarked on several reforms that would transform the market.
"The continuous and faithful implementation of the forgoing will lead us to building a world class market, a market that is transparent, efficient, dynamic, technology driven where investors are protected, and commands trust and confidence of investors," she said.
Speaking on some of the specific efforts being made to deepen the market and improve its liquidity, Ekineh said SEC had cleared 10 market makers appointed by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, approved rules for securities lending, and approval of new products.
"Apart from encouraging investors to patronise the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS), the first Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) had been registered and listed on the NSE. The Commission has ensured the introduction of Custodian Services for CIS. We have also commenced listing discussions with oil and gas companies and telecommunications firms. SEC will also continue to collaborate with Bureau of Public Enterprise on the listing of privatised and other prospective ones," she said.
The commissioner added SEC was promoting the take-off of Over-the-Counter(OTC) market and designing a framework for the introduction of sukuk (Islamic Bond).
She told the foreign investors that the Commission would continue to support NSE' initiatives towards strengthening the market, adding that efforts were being made to restructure and strengthen the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE )to deliver on its mandate.
According to her, the reconstitution of Capital Market Committee (CMC) Sub-committees was also meant to strengthen the effectiveness of the capital market.
These committees are: Investor Confidence; Fixed Income; Rules; Fund Management; Technology and infrastructure; Commodities exchanges; Product development and Advocacy group to interface with relevant institutions and authorities in Nigeria with a view to addressing current challenges in the market.
Speaking on the opportunities in the capital market, she said there were funding(investment) opportunities for infrastructure bond to finance huge infrastructural deficit, real estate investment trust (REIT) since there are 16 million housing units deficit and Islamic financing and other ethical products.