As part of measures to encourage market integration and provide better opportunities for the economic prosperity of Nigeria and Ghana, the Securities and Exchange Commissions of both countries have signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Accra weekend, Director General of the SEC Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Yuguda recalled that both countries had enjoyed a long period of progressive and mutually beneficial brotherhood and partnership with the same applying to both institutions which resulted in the first MoU in 2003.
According to Yuguda, “It is worthy of note that this brotherhood, had in 2003, paved the way for the signing of the current MoU, which today we have come to renew and put to greater use. The enduring relationship between our two jurisdictions is more amplified by the fact that Ghana and Nigeria both have the largest markets in the West African sub-region and it will only be good foresightedness that we seize the advantage of our size and peculiarities, and explore viable areas of cooperation, even as we continue to work assiduously with other stakeholders to integrate our markets and provide greater opportunities for the economic prosperity of our peoples and our economies.
“In addition to its inherent benefits, this revised MOU will usher in an era of strengthened strategic cooperation and mutual support in the regulation of our markets towards the ultimate objective of enhancing their efficiency, transparency, depth, strength and indeed, global competitiveness.
The SEC DG stated that in the spirit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)and what nations in the region are hoping to achieve on a wider scale with WASRA, the collaboration will be a good pedestal for future and wider collaborations with other neighbours in the sub-region and beyond.
He said that with the revised MoU, both countries have developed a robust and inclusive document that is all-encompassing and reflective of current trends, emphasizing that the goal of the West African capital markets integration programme is the creation of an enabling environment for cross-border securities transactions and the integration of all capital markets jurisdictions in the ECOWAS region.
“It will therefore be equally expected that we develop a tool of cooperation that enables our two institutions to effectively police our respective markets and ensure that the standards of regulation set out by IOSCO are sustained, and where possible, improved upon.
“However, without the readiness of all concerned, the lofty aims of the programme may as well continually remain a dream. It goes to say, unequivocally, that this goal can only be achieved seamlessly when all member states of ECOWAS come on board and actively commit to achieving the noble objectives of the enhanced collaborative structure that these nature of agreements enable.
Yuguda added that both the SEC Ghana and SEC Nigeria, desirous of achieving these ideals, have taken the lead by example by driving this project in the sub-region while hopefully aiming to someday expand its coverage beyond the sub-regional frontiers onto other parts of the continent of Africa.
The SEC DG expressed appreciation to other agencies like the African Development Bank towards the growth and integration of capital markets in the subregion adding that capital markets in the region are working with other institutions to ensure the provision of robust infrastructure in superintending over the capital market.
In his remarks, Director General of SEC Ghana, Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh said both Securities Commissions are ready to work together and develop the potential of the capital market by examining issues and exploring ways to resolve them to make the capital markets work better.
Tetteh said, “This is a good framework that will benefit both countries and the sub-region. If you want to go far, it is better to go along with others and that is why we always have discussions on cooperation in the capital market. We had an MoU in 2003 which centred on collaboration and leveraging the potential of the capital markets in the sub-region. We are better off when we pull together to attain the potential of our capital markets.
“Some progress has been made in the past but we are not yet where we want to be, we could do more. Ghana and Nigeria can push forward in ways that will bring about the mutual benefits of leveraging the capital market. We need to have our markets open to each other so that we can achieve more and then attain one big capital market”.
Tetteh expressed delight on the collaboration and pledged the commitment of SEC Ghana to continue to support the initiative.
“The MoU has been revised to accommodate new direction to strengthen bilateral relations and measures towards deepening and growing markets through exchanges. This is significant and the Ghana SEC will be committed to play our role to ensure that this MoU results in tangible benefits. We will put it into operation so that our capital market will be deepened and experiences growth that will lead to economic development.
We need to come closer and take deliberate steps to achieve bilateral co-operation. We are very keen on this relationship. There is a strong relationship between us so we need to continue to nurture and grow it and create institutions that will help our people have better living standards. I hope we can achieve a lot by bringing our capital markets together. We need to make our institutions stronger as well as our economic activities.
We need this collaboration in a bid to make the process of accessing our markets as seamless as possible, easy for people to transfer assets, make investments and have confidence that the investments are protected in Ghana as they are in Nigeria and vice versa.
Yuguda expressed appreciation to other agencies like the African Development Bank towards the growth and integration of capital markets in the subregion adding that capital markets in the region are working with other institutions to ensure provision of robust infrastructure in superintending over the capital market.
Today marks a very important day, it marks a continuation of what started between SEC Nigeria and SEC Ghana almost two decades ago. The fact that we are renewing this commitment to continue to work together to provide regulatory support to market development shows that there is shared purpose between us. We therefore commit to continue to provide the leadership to ensure they are realised.