The Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, has charged capital market participants to constantly adapt and stay ahead of emerging and rapidly changing economic, regulatory, and business trends in order to boost their operations and grow the economy.
Gwarzo, who stated this during his opening remarks at the 21st annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in Lagos, last week, said: “Almost everything now comes down to the application of (relevant) technology. In fact, at the nucleus of dynamic changes is technology. The financial market institution of the future is one that is currently making conscious effort to automate its processes by leveraging on relevant technology.”
He disclosed that the number of reported cases of infractions in the market had reduced from 291 in Q1 2016 to 36 in Q3’ 2017, while the number of enforcement cases also fell from 49 to 30 within the same period.
He however, noted that as an evidence of the responses to dynamic changes in the Nigerian financial market, the capital market has begun to observe the evolution of new products and processes, which include Sukuk, Green Bonds, Derivatives, Commodities, and Financial Technology (Fintech).
On market regulation and development by SEC, he said the Commission is committed to zero tolerance on infractions, even as it would continue to develop the market in line with the 10-year master plan agenda.
Furthermore, he said the E-Dividend initiative is very critical, noting that the Commission recently embarked on a massive media campaign to sensitise the public on the December 31, 2017 deadline on free e-dividend registration exercise and regularisation of multiple accounts by investors.
According to him, the Commission has strengthened its rule making processes with more rules considered on a timely basis and underlying justifications, which will aid the market’s understanding of the processes behind the rules.
He added that all the initiatives introduced and results are believed to help capital market stakeholders respond adequately to the dynamic changes in the financial market.
The President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Oluwaseyi Abe, also urged market operators to remain innovative and leverage opportunities that exist within the industry.
“The theme of this year’s conference, Adapting to the Dynamic Changes in the Financial Market, is of key importance to stockbrokers in particular, and other financial market operators in general. This is in view of globalisation and digitalisation both of which have radicalised the mode and speed of transactions in the financial market space.
“Globalisation, which has broken down geographical barriers to enable free movement of capital flows, and heightened competition in financial markets, has been touted as a major reason for economic crisis which have become more frequent in both developing and advanced economies alike.”
He, therefore, advised stockbrokers to design products that would enable them leverage emerging opportunities, and create wealth for the nation.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper November 20th, 2017