By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The National Assembly (NASS) has pushed for stronger capital market regulations in order to attract a wide array of investments under a secured and transparent environment.
According to the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, Mr Babangida Ibrahim, efforts must be made to further strengthen the current regulatory framework in the capital market as the space plays a vital role in the growth and development of the economy.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting on the Investments and Securities Bill held in Lagos on Monday, the lawmaker said, “Our presence at this meeting today is to review the current developments in the Nigerian capital market and also dissect the content of the Investments and Securities Bill, 2021 and make appropriate contributions towards strengthening and enhancing the regulatory and supervisory framework of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the umpire of the capital markets.”
“My distinguished colleagues and management of SEC, with our determined commitment for the passage of the bill which has already passed the second reading, I believe at the end of this retreat, a clearer focus would be charted to ensure the success of the passage of the bill,” he added.
Mr Ibrahim expressed the hope that contributions will be free-flowing, frank, inspirational and provocative and would strengthen the operational framework of the capital market.
“We as stakeholders must offer our valued ideas and bring in our expertise and professionalism to this piece of legislation. We should note that for this bill to pass through the legislative activities successfully in the National Assembly, it must be holistic, comprehensive and have global flesh in the international investments and securities.
“Therefore, I urge the management of the commission and the entire stakeholders gathered here to bring out our best towards this course,” he added.
He also assured stakeholders of the National Assembly’s support in any area of legislation necessary to actualize the vision of the SEC to make the investment and securities businesses in Nigeria better.
In his remarks, the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, expressed the need for legislation that would address the current realities and prepare the Nigerian capital market for the prospective changes that are likely to come in the near future.
He said the significance of the capital markets cannot be overemphasised as governments need the capital market to work with it to deliver the goods and services that nations need.
“I hereby wish to register my profound appreciation for the support from the two committees of the National Assembly to us in our various interactions over the last one and half years.
“This has helped the leadership of the commission in doing things differently and I can say confidently that we are in a better state than we were two years ago. And with this kind of support we are going to get the capital market of our dreams,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, emphasised that most of the developmental challenges the country presently faces could be solved through the capital market.
He stated, “The capital market stimulates economic growth, mobilises savings, creates wealth, contributes to infrastructure development, reduces scarcity of foreign currency, aids financial inclusion, and promotes transparency and good governance.
“It is, therefore, crucial that the market becomes more innovative in product development to attract a more diversified array of market players both in the listing and trading segments. Undoubtedly, if we are able to deepen our market and make it stronger, there will be inflows and our nation will grow and become healthier.”
In a goodwill message, Chairman Senate Committee on Capital Markets, Mr Ibikunle Amosun said that a lot of changes have happened in the final stock market hence the need for Nigeria to move with the tide.
Represented by Senator Kashim Shettima, he said, “It is interesting to note that the last time the Act was enacted was in 2007. There are lots of changes in the global stock market and we need to move with the tide.
“There is, therefore, the need for a review of the ISA to confirm with current realities. This is a good forum for us to cross-pollinate our ideas and come up with robust solutions to the challenges.”