By Aminu Imam
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, yesterday urged experts in the nation’s capital market to come up with recommendations that could help in exploring the opportunities availed by the market to create wealth for ordinary Nigerians.
Giving the advice at the Technical Session of the 4th Annual Capital Market Retreat in Abuja, Oteh noted that if properly planned, the stock exchange would become a major investment market for ordinary Nigerians and also serve as a catalytic tool for alleviating poverty in the country.
Describing deep rooted poverty level as one of the challenges Nigeria continued to grapple with despite efforts of government to reduce the incidence through policy reforms, the SEC boss said that decisions taken by the capital market experts on the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025), which is one of the major issues for deliberations at the 3-day forum, would offer a leeway on improving SMEs investors’ participation in the market on a sustainable basis.
She said: “Let me say that one of the challenges we face as a country is poverty. The government and all of us as stakeholders are concerned about this and will therefore support all initiatives that can address this problem.
“I hope that through the various issues we will discuss in this session, we can share experiences on how this forum can be used to truly create wealth for ordinary Nigerians”, Oteh added.
The investment expert, who cited the experiences in Malaysia, Kenya and other countries where the launching of their capital market Master Plans had immensely deepened the capitalisation and created opportunities for inclusive growth of their economies, expressed the hope that Nigeria’s 10-year capital market Master Plan would impact positively on the poor and micro enterprises if all stakeholders remain committed to its implementation.
While commending the Committee that was saddled with the responsibility of producing the draft Master Plan and others, who in one way or the other had contributed to the proposed market development framework, the SEC boss explained that when finalised and adopted, the Master Plan would reposition the Nigerian capital market as one of the best and biggest globally standardised bourse.
The Session, which was attended by key operators and players in the capital market locally and internationally, featured the Presentation of the Nigerian Capital Market Plan (2015-2025) which has Non-Interest Capital Market Master Plan and Capital Market Literacy Master Plan, amongst its major components.