By Etuka Sunday
Beyond the conventional capital market products of equities and bonds as well as manual regulatory processes, the players and regulators in the Nigerian capital market are introducing new and innovative processes and products.
This was stated by Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk during an excursion visit by students of Aduvie Pre University College, Modibbo Adama University, Yola and University of Abuja to the Commission, Wednesday.
Uduk said capital markets across the world have products and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth and development. Although many of such products are available in Nigeria, there are aspects that are still untapped, thereby limiting the realization of our potential.
She said it is for this reason that some of the processes of the SEC that were previously manual and inefficient are now being automated to make the market more attractive to investors.
“For instance, with the dematerialization process completed, investors no longer need to not worry about the loss or damage to their physical share certificates as they are now electronically stored.
“Further, the current e-Dividend system enables shareholders’ dividend to be paid directly into their bank account without the stress of dealing with physical dividend warrants. Also, the Direct Cash Settlement protects investors from funds mismanagement by ensuring that the proceeds of their shares sales are credited directly into their own account as against that of the stockbroker.
“We are equally working on ensuring that companies’ annual reports are distributed electronically thereby ensuring timeliness of information to shareholders and cost reduction to public companies” she stated.
The Acting DG told the students that through the Commodities Trading Implementation Committee, the Commission has engaged the Standards Organizations of Nigeria to publicize the relevant standards issued for Agricultural products, while warehouses have also been mapped to provide information on its availability and location.
She stated that the SEC is working towards a future where the capital market would be used to solve challenges of misprizing and non-standardization of commodity products, as well as low foreign exchange earnings bedeviling the country’s agricultural sector.
The Acting DG also disclosed that the SEC has helped in coordinating the introduction of Capital Market Studies into curriculum of basic and senior secondary schools in Nigeria and further plans are ahead to do same for higher institutions.
“Literacy plays a significant role in financial inclusion which itself is a major component of economic development. Financial literacy and inclusion help people become financially independent and economically self-sufficient by aiding the underserved population, while raising their productivity and incomes” she added.
In his remarks, Head of Faculty (Social Sciences) Aduvie Pre University College, Abuja, Mr. Sixtus Onyekwere said Aduvie Pre University College is making a difference in the lives of the students adding that by bringing them to places like the SEC, the school wants to educate them about operations of the capital market, so that they can understand from a young age how to engage in investment activities and the opportunities that many are ignorant about.