The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reaffirmed that it remains committed to developing the capital market in line with the 10-Year Master Plan.
Disclosing this during the SEC Journalists Academy which held in Uyo on Thursday, Acting Director-General, SEC, 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.
The acting DG pointed out that the Commission with 101 initiatives has the potential to expedite the implementation of the 10 year- master plan.
Uduk noted that the market was highly concentrated and dominated by the banking sector which constituted 60 per cent of the market as at 2003 to 2007. According to her, 15 out of 20 most capitalized companies were banks, adding that risk management and corporate governance was not developed enough to support the fast growth thereby leading to inappropriate market behavior and abuse of margin lending.
She revealed that the Commission had focused on leading the market to recovery and part of the recovery plan was the development of the 10-Year Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025)in collaboration with other stakeholders to map out strategies to improve key areas especially investor protection and education, among others.
She explained that SEC aims to expand capital market’s role in nation’s economy development in general.
Explaining so far on the success achieved, the acting DG said, “For instance, 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 CMOs, improves 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 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. So far, 2.55 million accounts have been mandated under this system.”