SEC Implores Capital Market Stakeholders On Technology Innovations

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The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda has challenged stakeholders in Nigeria’s capital market to leverage technology as part of measures to boost financial inclusion.

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 In his keynote address on Satuurday at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) 2021 Annual Workshop in Lagos, Yuguda, who was represented by Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr Temidayo Obisan, explained that the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC)  reported that there were over 191 million and 140 million active mobile subscribers and active data subscribers, respectively, in Nigeria as at October. 

 According to the SEC boss,  leveraging technology would provide a cost-effective means of reaching the untapped market especially rural dwellers. 

Yuguda said:“Financial institutions are increasingly using electronic channels to onboard clients and address customers queries and bring financial product offerings to prospective users. 

“The use of technology in offering capital market instruments has been on the rise, helping to reduce the inefficiencies of the past and driving liquidity and diverse holdings of capital market instruments. 

“Additionally, technology is making access to credit much faster and easier,” he said. 

Explaining further at the workshop titled: “Technology as a Tool for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”, Yuguda said:“Many fund managers also use technology to offer investment products to investors seamlessly.”  

According to him, leveraging technology to offer financial services has advantage over traditional means because it breaks down geographical constraints and reduces the cost of providing financial transactions. 

He added that it involved little or no infrastructure cost and offered the highest outreach. 

He said: “Financial inclusion is all about providing adults with access to financial products and services. These include savings, payments, capital markets, pension and insurance products and services. 

“Access to financial services provides families with opportunity to invest in education and health and ultimately results in a better standard of living. 

“It also allows businesses to expand, create jobs and reduce unemployment.” 

Yuguda noted that a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics and the SME Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in 2017 indicated that over 41.5 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)  operated in the country. 

“The impact of providing these MSMEs with access to formal financial services would be significant in terms of contribution to GDP growth, employment and economic prosperity,” he said. 

Yuguda also cited a 2020 survey which indicated that there were 106 million adults in Nigeria,  of which 38 million representing 36 per cent were financially excluded and 81 per cent of those financially-excluded lived in rural areas while 19 per cent lived in urban areas. 

According to him,  56 per cent of the adults are female. 

He added that 73 per cent of the adults did not complete secondary school, while 82 per cent were not aware of formal financial access point. 

According to him, income analysis indicates that 94 per cent of financially-excluded adults were either dependents, business owners and farmers while less than 1 per cent worked in the formal sector. 

“In addition, 60 per cent of financially-excluded adults are below the age of 35. 

“Data provided by CSCS as at Q1 2021 indicated that there are 4.9 million investors in stock market, of which 3.3 million (67 per cent) are male, 1.5 million (31 per cent) are female while 0.12 million are corporate accounts. 

“These statistics have shown that financial inclusion initiatives should be primarily targeted at women, rural residents, less educated, younger generation and those that do not work in the formal sector.”

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