Small Business Owners Can Explore Opportunities in Capital Market—SEC

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Small business owners have been advised to explore the many opportunities in the capital market to expand their business operations.

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, stated that entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could get cheaper funds from the market in different ways.

“The capital market is available to provide funding to businesses. With crowdfunding, a small business can raise money based on certain principles as the SEC has approved this to happen for a certain number of investors and a certain amount at a time,” the DG said at the Gombe State Investment Summit with the theme Industrialisation: The Pathway to Innovation, Transformation, and Development of Gombe.

At the event held last Wednesday, he further said the capital market could play an enormous role in the growth of businesses as they could approach the market for primary offers as well as the secondary market, which smaller companies can access due to the less stringent disclosure requirements.

“There are also huge opportunities available for businesses, especially agro-allied businesses. They can use the commodities market to access high-calibre customers requiring large quantities of agricultural produce. We have licensed six commodities exchanges in Nigeria, and they are very active,” Mr Yuguda added.

He expressed delight that the private sector has ventured into areas like railways, power, and communication, among others that the government hitherto dominated.

“Before now, the government mainly provided a lot of these infrastructures and services, but today we can see the private sector taking over while the government provides the necessary regulatory oversight,” he stated.

Mr Yuguda commended the state government on the resuscitation of the state-owned Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited to serve as a one-stop shop for all investment-related issues to facilitate ease of doing business, adding that small firms can be prepared to access the capital market by such outfits.

He, therefore, expressed the commission’s commitment to working with the state government and other stakeholders to create the necessary awareness.

In his opening remarks, the Governor of Gombe State, Mr Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said that the state has been committed to human capital development and is working to leverage digital skills to develop the state.

Mr Yahaya disclosed that his administration was also working to provide a solid infrastructure to serve as a catalyst for industrialisation and growth.

“We realized that in order to put our state on the path of sustainable progress and long-term prosperity, we must strategically invest in both human capital and infrastructural development.

“On one hand, human capital development will enable us to equip our teeming youth with the requisite skills, knowledge and expertise to succeed in our rapidly changing digital world.

“To this end, we are working to leverage digital skills and opportunities to develop Gombe into a regional ICT hub in order to harness the creative energies of our youth.

“On the other hand, solid and resilient infrastructure is being put in place to serve as a catalyst for industrialization and growth, unlock opportunities and deliver sustainable prosperity to the people.

“For businesses to thrive, we need collaboration with relevant stakeholders, innovation, risk reduction, as well as sound regulatory framework and sustainable wealth creation.

“We are harmonising taxation, improving efficiency, stamping out corruption, ensuring the security of lives and property and empowering the judiciary to work better,” he said.

The Governor expressed satisfaction with the responses from investors and the business community, as hundreds of investors have expressed interest in operating from the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, and many more are willing.

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