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SEC identifies standards critical for successful capital market inclusion

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says availability, affordability, accessibility, awareness and adequacy of capital market products will drive inclusion in the market across the country.

Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, outlined the factors in Abuja on Tuesday at a webinar symposium with the title: “Capital Market Inclusion as a Vehicle for Achieving Economic Growth and Inclusion’’.

Yuguda, represented by Mr Temidayo Obisan, the Executive Commissioner, Operation of SEC, said the Commission had been collaborating with various stakeholders to map out strategies to deepen the market through financial inclusion.

He said that the Federal Government inaugurated the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2012, with a target to financially include 80 per cent of the country’s adults by 2020.

Yuguda said the assessment of the goal by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other stakeholders showed that about 64 per cent of the goal was achieved before the pandemic in 2020.

According to him, it is believed that access to financial services will bring about capital accumulation, wealth creation and significant growth in investment that will lead to economic growth and development.

“More work needs to be done by all stakeholders,” the director-general said.

Dr Paul Oluikpe, the Head of Financial Inclusion Delivery Unit of CBN, said that providing investment opportunities for people at the low income segment of the economy, would help enable capital market inclusion.

Oluikpe said that capital market products tailored to target low income earners and driving financial literacy on the products, would also help to drive inclusion.

According to him, 64.1 per cent of people are financially served while 31.8 million adults are financially excluded as at December 2020.

He urged SEC to formulate the capital market inclusion target to be included in the NFIS.

“Our economic growth needs to be fuelled by credits but this is not happening, we need to unleash this.

“Accelerating digital financial services around capital market products will get the youths involved,’’ he said.

He listed some challenges of financial inclusion to include lack of trust, low income and increasing bank charges among others.

Mr Okwudili Egwu, the Senior Vice President of the Cowry Asset Management Limited, said that technology had helped to increase awareness of capital market and its products.

Dr Afolabi Olowookere, a Data Analyst with SEC, said that macro environment occasioned by economic stability, improved welfare of citizens, supply side inclusion would drive capital market inclusion.

Olowookere said the Commission was working to incorporate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in capital market products.

Mrs Tope Omojokun, the President of the Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN), said that investment in Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) was better than savings.

The symposium was organised by the Market Development Department of SEC to enlighten participants on the factors driving capital market inclusion.

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