Capital Market Critical to Economic Growth—SEC
By Dipo Olowookere
Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has described the Nigerian capital market as very critical to the attainment of economic growth and development of the nation.
The SEC chief, speaking on Tuesday when she visited some media houses in Lagos, said the capital market can assist the country achieve its infrastructural development, while also creating wealth for citizens.
Represented by the Head of External Relations Department at SEC, Mr Sufian Abdulkarim, Ms Uduk noted that the agency was stepping up regulation to ensure that Nigerians are able to invest in the market and get returns on their investment.
“We have zero tolerance for infections in the market and will not hesitate to apply the necessary sanctions on any operator that is found wanting. We are doing all of these to make the investor know that his money is safe in the market,” she said.
While commending the media on their role in educating and enlightening members of the public on the opportunities that abound in the capital market, she, however, stated that more needs to be done for it to perform better.
“We are aware of the support and cooperation we have received from the media so far, but we want to further solicit your help especially as it relates to issues around our recent initiatives, to enlighten investors on the need for them to key-in,” she said.
“We urge Nigerians to go out and register for the e-dividend, they need to consolidate their multiple accounts as these are some of the ways they can get the benefits of investing in the market while also reducing the unclaimed dividends profile,” Ms Uduk continued.
“We also have the Direct Cash Settlement which makes it possible for investors accounts to be credited directly when there is a transaction.
“We have also migrated from physical share certificates to electronic ones. All these initiatives are geared towards marking our market perform better and ensure investors receive the benefits of their investments,” the capital market expert stated further.
However, the SEC boss cautioned investors to ensure they do due diligence before investing their hard-earned money on any product to avoid patronising fund managers that are not registered.
“Investors should cross check before they put their money in any fund. A list of registered fund managers can be found on the SEC website,” she said.
Ms Uduk said it is important for people to understand the workings of the capital market and not have the misconception that they must have a lot of money before they can invest.
She said the SEC has continued to educate and enlighten Nigerians about the investment opportunities available in the market and urged potential investors to engage professionals who will guide them on relevant products to invest in.
“In the past, people just go to stockbrokers to buy stocks without having proper knowledge of what to buy, but now, we are encouraging people to go through the investment schemes.
“If you don’t know anything about stocks go through CIS and invest in different stocks so that professionals can manage your investments.
“You do not have to have so much money or any formal education to be able to invest in this market. There are professionals who will advise you and tell you the best product to invest in to suit your needs. They will also assist you to manage such investments,” she added.