SEC Embracing Technology to Attract More Investors—Uduk
By Dipo Olowookere
Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has stated that in order to make the Nigerian capital market more attractive to investors, her agency had to digitalize its operations.
She said this was why some of the processes of the apex regulator in the nation’s capital market, which were previously manual and inefficient, are now being automated.
Addressing students of Aduvie Pre University College, Modibbo Adama University, Yola and University of Abuja, who were on excursion to the commission on Wednesday, Ms Uduk said this action has made transactions at the market more efficient.
She said, “For instance, with the dematerialization process completed, investors no longer need to not worry about the loss or damage to their physical share certificates as they are now electronically stored.”
“Further, the current e-dividend system enables shareholders’ dividend to be paid directly into their bank account without the stress of dealing with physical dividend warrants,” she added.
According to the SEC boss, “The Direct Cash Settlement protects investors from funds mismanagement by ensuring that the proceeds of their shares sales are credited directly into their own account as against that of the stockbroker.”
She informed the students, who listened to her with keen interest, that, “We are equally working on ensuring that companies’ annual reports are distributed electronically thereby ensuring timeliness of information to shareholders and cost reduction to public companies.”
During the visit, Ms Uduk also highlighted the importance of financial literacy to the students, saying, “Literacy plays a significant role in financial inclusion which itself is a major component of economic development.”
According to her, “Financial literacy and inclusion help people become financially independent and economically self-sufficient by aiding the underserved population, while raising their productivity and incomes.”
She said SEC, through the Commodities Trading Implementation Committee, collaborated with the Standards Organizations of Nigeria (SON) to publicize the relevant standards issued for agricultural products, while warehouses have also been mapped to provide information on its availability and location.
The Acting DG noted that SEC was working towards a future where the capital market would be used to solve challenges of misprizing and non-standardization of commodity products, as well as low foreign exchange earnings bedeviling the country’s agricultural sector.
She said further that SEC has helped in coordinating the introduction of Capital Market Studies into curriculum of basic and senior secondary schools in Nigeria and was making further plans to do same for higher institutions.