The Securities and Exchange Commission has said it recognises the importance of digital platforms for democratising access to capital market products and services for greater financial inclusion in the market.
The Director-General of the SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, said this at a webinar organised by the commission with the theme ‘Digital platforms: New frontier for capital market inclusion’.
Yuguda, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement, Mr Reginald Karawusa, said, “As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, with a dual mandate to regulate and develop the market, we recognise that the greatest asset of any capital market and indeed any financial market is its investors.
“It is investors, whether retail or institutional, that provide the savings needed for productive investments. Inclusion of the excluded population is therefore critical for deepening a sustainable capital market.”
According to him, the Enhancing Finance in Africa 2020 Report on the Nigerian fintech landscape, about 40 per cent of Nigerians were still financially excluded as at December 2018; 51.1 per cent of the excluded population are women; 61.5 per cent are between the ages of 18 and 35; 34 per cent had no formal education and 80.4 per cent resided in rural areas.
Yuguda said this meant that 40 per cent of Nigerians financially excluded, especially those between the ages of 18 and 35, were also excluded from participation in the Nigerian capital market.
“This low level of involvement in the market has spurred the commission to intensify its investor education efforts to attract greater participation in the capital market by both existing and potential investors,” he added.
According to him, the capital market, as part of the fintech ecosystem, is witnessing changes in the conduct of market activities with the emergence of digital platforms, which provide wide scale, cost effective and efficient solution for inclusion of potential investors in the capital market, especially the younger population.
Yuguda said, “Since 2018, the commission has been engaging stakeholders within this space to develop an efficient regulatory framework that will mandate responsible digital financial practices to protect investors or consumers.
“The discussions and insight from this webinar, therefore, will be instrumental in shaping the regulatory landscape for the operation of these platforms, as well as support our efforts in securing the mutual benefits from their emergence.”