The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has expressed optimism that the Securities Issuers Forum (SIF) will aid the development of the capital market and the economy.
Yuguda made the assertion in his opening address during the virtual inauguration of the SIF by SEC in collaboration with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, on Wednesday, in Lagos.
He said the SIF had the potential to act as a bridge between the SEC and issuers of securities and as well create a platform for issuers to engage the commission for more listings.
Yuguda also said the SIF would improve the contributions of issuers to the development of the capital market, as key stakeholders deepen and broaden the market and ultimately contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.
According to him, SEC will be better positioned to engage issuers on capital raising opportunities to facilitate increased participation in the capital market with the establishment of the SIF.
He added that development of new products to meet funding needs and addressing issues relating to compliance with regulatory requirements would be achieved as well.
“The idea of a forum for issuers of securities is not novel as such fora exist in other parts of the world to cater to the interests of issuers of securities in the capital market.
“In Europe, the European issuers acts as the voice of issuers of securities, representing over 8,000 companies and national associations of issuers of securities.
“In the United States of America and South Africa, the American Securities Association, and the Debt Issuers Association, respectively serve as the associations for issuers of securities.
“In Nigeria, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the umbrella body for over 3,000 members, seeks to protect interests and rights of businesses and ultimately influence policymaking.
“By encouraging the establishment of the SIF in collaboration with NECA, SEC hopes to bridge the gap that exists between the expectations of issuers and the requirements of the regulator.
“While forums for issuers are not very common in the African region, they have proven to be veritable tools for capital market advancement in the UK, Europe and Asia.
“The inauguration of the SIF today, thus marks an important move by Nigeria to reap the benefits associated with its establishment,” he said.
Yuguda added that itv would benefit members and promote sound corporate governance and ethical conduct among members.
“It will also promote healthy competitiveness among members and maintain an enabling business environment, “he said.
He said the commission had encouraged the creation of associations and trade groups for other capital market stakeholders, such as shareholders and capital market operators.
“Therefore, the SIF is expected to function seamlessly and attract members in line with precedence already established,” he said.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, expressed appreciation to SEC for inaugurating the forum.
He said that the event was important to the business community, especially coming during the current economic constraints being faced globally.
Olawale said that regulators were expected to be business facilitators and expressed excitement that the SEC was working hard at facilitating the ease of doing business and bridge the gaps and aid companies to meet expectations of compliance.
He said: “This Forum is a good one by SEC, as it will help us to do what is needful and right.
“We are very excited about it. It is commendable and we recommend this form of partnership to others.
“The forum will serve as a medium of regular engagement between SEC and issuers of securities to address challenges, improve the business environment and enhance the contribution of the capital market to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
“We might not achieve all we set out to do at once but gradually we will get there.”