By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Nigerian Capital Market has been described asa vital tool for the revitalisation of the economy as it is capable of providing government the much needed revenue for infrastructural development.
This was the view of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, during the budget defense session by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Abuja.
Senator Amosun said that the Committee was very keen on the activities of the capital market as it is capable of providing the country with the much needed long term funding to get its economy out of the woods as well as funding the budget.
According to him, “The Capital Market is very important to the development of any economy. When the economy is stressed, the capital market can help. We know that globally, nations have been suffering the effects of COVID-19 and Nigeria is no exception. But we believe that with a vibrant capital market, our growth and development will be faster.
“We now know what the capital market can do to rescue the economy at a time like this. If we have to diversify our economy, the capital market has a role to play and that is why we are here to support you. We will support the capital market for our country to realise these economic goals.
“That is why the Senate is very interested in ensuring that our capital market does well. We are here to encourage you in the work that you do to ensure that we achieve success. We will encourage companies to list so as to further deepen the capital market.
He commended the SEC Management on their efforts so far in deepening the market and advised the Commission to explore other areas that could aid in revamping the economy and improve government revenue.
In a presentation earlier, the DG of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda told the senators that despite the global economic climate the world over, the Commission has been able to improve its budget performance.
Yuguda stated that due to series of interactions with the lawmakers in the past, the Commission has been able to explore various areas in a bid to shore up its finances.
He stated that “This improvement in our performance is as a result of some of the fees that we introduced at the beginning of this year. When we came to you last year, the Commission was facing a very difficult financial situation. We had various interactions with this Committee and we were asked to think outside the box so that we can bring measures to improve our performance.”
“It is these measures that we started to introduced that have led to our performance improving. We looked inwards and introduced various measures that drastically cut down our expenditures. We had a staff strength that we said was top heavy and we were able to implement voluntarily early retirement programme in 2021 and concluded in December 2021.
“We also turned our attention to the revenue side and we looked at certain areas like the fixed income market. The fixed income market is highly regulated by the Commission but was not generating revenues for the SEC, so from January 2022, we started accessing a small fee from the secondary fixed income market. So, it is the combined effect of this that you see in the revenue performance of the Commission”.
Yuguda stated that the Commission looked at the Collective Investment Scheme sector and explored avenues of improving its performance in a bid to increase the revenues of the Commission.
“The collective investment scheme is one of the areas that accounts for our improved performance. It has been with us for a decade, but the Commission has not been taking revenues from that sector.
“We have an investment management department, which is devoted to the regulation of the collective investment schemes, we have other services like the monitoring department, which goes out and monitor. In terms of funds on this particular side of the market, we have not been taking in many revenues. So effective January 2022 as we announced last year, the Commission started taking less than 0.3 per cent of the funds in collective investments schemes so that it will help the Commission give good regulation and oversight.