The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in collaboration with other stakeholders have adopted strategies to improve key areas in the capital market, especially investor protection and enlightenment campaigns, to enable the market play a dominant role in economic development.
The apex capital market regulator also plans to hold a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders in Enugu, in efforts to further enlighten investors on the process and benefits of e-Dividend, multiple subscription, e-processes and other contemporary issues in the Nigerian bourse.The Commission, which reaffirmed its commitment to developing the capital market in line with the 10-Year Master Plan, also noted that the awareness campaign would help deepen investors’ knowledge of the market.
Speaking at the just-concluded SEC/Journalists Academy, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the weekend, the Acting Director-General, SEC, Mary Uduk, who spoke on the theme, ‘Capital Market Master Plan: The Journey So Far’, noted that investors’ lost confidence in the market as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008. She said retail investors were largely affected during the crises due to their shallow knowledge of the capital market. However, Uduk pointed out that the commission’s initiatives embedded in the Master Plan, have the potential to accelerate the growth of the market and the entire economy if properly implemented. Uduk said the market is highly-concentrated and dominated by the banking sector, which constituted 60 per cent as at 2003 to 2007, just as 15 out of 20 most-capitalised companies were banks during the boom period.
She said risk management and corporate governance were not developed enough to support the fast-growing market during the period, resulting in inappropriate market behaviour, and abuse of margin lending and subsequently the financial crises.“We have ensured that all share certificates are fully dematerialised. 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 recapitalisation of capital market operators was aimed at improving the baseline infrastructure of the CMOs, improve 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.”
Furthermore, Uduk said the Town-hall meeting would create an avenue for the regulator to educate and enlighten the public on the above subject, and also for operators, stakeholders and various investors to interact and discuss other issues surrounding the activities of the bourse.
SEC, had in January 2015, commenced the e-dividend registration campaign in Abuja, with a Road Show culminating in a Town Hall Meeting.
According to her, the event will also provide an opportunity to speak on the investment opportunities available in the Nigerian capital market, and how retail investors can benefit from it.She also announced that the e-dividend registration would continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of free registration deadline, while urging investors who are yet to enrol, to continue with the registration at a cost of N150 only.
“Investors should continue to approach their banks or registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their bank accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.”