The Senate Committee on Capital Markets has expressed its determination to ensuring that investments are safe in the Nigerian capital market.
This assurance was given by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibikunle Amosun during a meeting with the Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja, Wednesday.
Senator Amosun stated that the Nigerian economy as it is today is in dire need of investments from both local and international investors adding that there is need to support the SEC in that direction.
He said, “ we are here today to meet with the Management of the Commission, to know their areas of difficulties and explore ways we can introduce new laws or amend old ones to ensure that Nigeria becomes investors’ destination of choice.
“We are aware some of the enabling laws were made many years ago and probably no longer meet present-day realities. The capital market can help fund a lot of our infrastructure deficit and that is why we are here”
The Committee chairman said for any nation to develop, the capital Market has to be taken seriously.
“If the regulators are not very active there would be issues because this market thrives on integrity and confidence if people don’t have confidence in the market they will not bring their money” he added.
In her remarks, Acting Director-General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk said the Commission being the apex regulator in the capital market is responsible for overseeing the affairs of the capital market .
According to Uduk, “We over-see a lot of enforcement issues like Ponzi scheme. Presently we are going to expand our enforcement activities around Ponzi schemes to sensitise Nigerians on the dangers of investing in them.
“We already do a lot of enlightenment in that regard, but we are going to do more by translating these initiatives into Nigerian languages and Pidgin English and produce short videos for illustration.
“These initiatives are contained in the 10-year capital market master plan and we are going a step further to focus on commodities in a bid to diversify our economy”.
Uduk disclosed that as part of the efforts by the Commission to deepen the market and attract more investors, it recently held an International Conference on Commodities market where various recommendations were preferred on ways to have a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria.
According to her, while it is clear that Nigeria is well endowed with agricultural, metals and energy commodities, our potentials in these areas are unrealized.
She said, “The good news, however, is that the capital market can be used as an avenue to unlock these potentials and diversify the nation’s economy, while providing jobs, creating values and contributing to governments’ revenue.
“We believe that if we can develop and institutionalise a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria, we can substantially address problems such as lack of storage, poor pricing, non-standardization, as well as low foreign exchange earnings affecting our agriculture and other commodities sub-sectors”.