By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The United Kingdom has pledged to support Nigeria in achieving a sustainable and resilient financial market because of its importance to the economy.
The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Ben Llewellyn-Jones, gave this assurance when he held a meeting with the management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently.
The envoy, who was represented by the Head of Economic Development, Ms Sally Woolhouse, stated that her country intends to make the sector, particularly the capital market, more innovative in the face of emerging climate change challenges.
She said, “our offers cover technical support, including green capital market. FSD Africa is doing an awesome job in partnering with you to drive this mission. Also, we can explore the potential strategic engagement with UK financial market institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, through which SEC could gain insight into emerging trends.”
Mrs Llewellyn-Jones described the UK government as “a long-staying ally of the Nigerian government,” stressing that her country was “committed to supporting the country’s financial sector, particularly the capital market in being more innovative, sustainable and resilient even as we all face emerging challenges such as climate change.”
“We look forward to working more collaboratively with every partner in achieving a sustainable and resilient financial sector in Nigeria,” she said.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, thanked the diplomat for supporting the nation’s capital market, reiterating the commitment of the agency to continue to create awareness, impart knowledge and engender public participation in these topical areas.
While commenting on the outcome of the Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting held last week, Mr Yuguda said members of the team were reminded to collectively work towards the enactment of the Investments and Securities Bill 2022, which will enhance the performance of the Nigerian capital market and align it with global best practices.
The DG reiterated the commitment of the management of the commission to the public on the full implementation of the initiatives of the revised Capital Market Master Plan, which will form the basis of the policy direction of the Commission for the coming years.
Mr Victor Nkiri, representing Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA), said developing a capital markets master plan provides a clear roadmap for the development of the capital markets in a holistic and realistic manner whilst setting clear targets and action points.
This, he said, provides positive market signalling to all financial sector players such as policymakers, potential domestic and international investors, peer regulators, ministries of finance etc, as it provides an indication of the direction in which the capital market development is taking in that country.
“Having a clear blueprint (such as a CMMP) also helps to ensure a collaborative and symbiotic market system approach is pursued e.g., incorporating sectors such as pension funds which form a bulk of institutional investors and are key to driving domestic capital,” he stated.
Nkiru said the need to revise the master plan became necessary to align with current global and local economic realities – post-COVID-19 economic recovery and the recent aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war, supply chain disruptions (local macroeconomic challenges, FX volatility) and the need to drive long-term domestic capital to fund economic growth.
“Also, there was a need to align with current market dynamics and disruptions in the capital market space – fintech, decentralised finance (de-fi), digi-assets and blockchain-powered technology.
“To position the market to respond to the global call on climate finance and resilience through the deployment of sustainable finance instruments such as green bonds, social bonds, blue bonds etc, noting that Africa stands to bear the largest brunt of climate change,” he added.