The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated the board of the Securities and Exchange Commission four years after it was dissolved.
The SEC board was dissolved on July 16, 2015, and the apex capital market regulator had been without a board until this week.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, urged listed companies in the capital market to imbibe good corporate governance and accountability to accelerate the growth of the market and increase both domestic and foreign investor participation, a statement by SEC said on Monday.
Isa-Dutse said the nation’s capital market was growing and evolving, adding that to sustain the growth and eventually transform to a world-class capital market, transparency and investor confidence were key.
According to him, like world-class markets, the Nigerian capital market should be characterised by high levels of liquidity, depth, breadth and sophistication with a strong domestic investor base.
He said, “It should be innovative and transparent due to a robust investor base and disclosure regimes. It should also be efficient both in price discovery and in the allocation of capital.
“We must have it in mind that world-class capital markets do far more than provide access to capital; they are enablers of socio-economic development because they hasten the rate of capital formation, foster a meritocracy and promote good corporate governance, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Thus, our capital market should broaden access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and wealth distribution, providing capital to small and medium-scale enterprises and catalysing housing finance.”
Isa-Dutse said the inauguration came at a time when many players in the market were displaying weak corporate governance practices that could potentially dampen investor confidence and undermine the steady gains achieved since the 2008 stock market crash.
He urged the board members to play their own part as crucial enablers in the industry towards advancing a common vision for the growth and revitalisation of the capital market.
The Chairman, SEC board, Mr Olufemi Lijadu, emphasised that the capital market was important in the socio-economic development of any nation as it played a critical role in attracting investments.
He said, “As we all join hands together to build our country, we need investments and the capital market plays a critical role in that respect. We need to see how we can move forward to have a more orderly market, a market that is fair and transparent and can attract investments to build Nigeria.
“We need a market that is attractive to investors, both local and foreign. We need a capital market where the rules are enforced and where the public interest is protected. We need also to reinforce public trust. I, therefore, enjoin everyone to help us towards building a capital market that this country deserves.”
The acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, expressed delight at the inauguration of the board, which she said would assist in moving the capital market forward.
She welcomed the new members and expressed optimism that they would bring their wealth of experience to bear in the running of the commission and the market.
Together with Lijadu and Uduk, the board members include non-executive commissioners, Mr Lamido Yuguda and Mrs Rekiya Ladi; the representative of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Okokon Ekanem; and the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Angela Adewumi.
Others are the acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Mr Henry Rowlands; acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr Isyaku Tilde; and acting Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Mr Reginald Karawusa.