The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its resolve to drive debt market-enabling environment in Nigeria to boost investors’ participation.
The Director-General, SEC, Lamido Yuguda, stated this at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) annual workshop held recently in Lagos.
Yuguda, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Dayo Obisan, at the event with the theme: “Nigeria’s Public Debt and the Capital Market “said the apex capital market regulating body is engaging the Minister of Budget and Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to create a level-playing field for debt market.
“By nature, the debt instrument is low risk,” he said adding that the commission would continue to fulfil its mandate of protecting investors and creating an enabling environment for market operators.
For her part, the Divisional Head, Business Support Services, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Irene Robinson-Ayanwale, in her goodwill message, commended CAMCAN for selecting the theme for the 2022 workshop.
She acknowledged the support the Debt Management Office (DMO) has granted to the Exchange over the years noting that the debt capital market was dear to the Exchange.
“The Exchange always visit the DMO for different proposals and they are always granted. We hope the joint collaboration and support will continue because it is very key to the debt capital market,” she added.
Charles Egbunonwo who represented the Chairman, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Sam Onukwue, said the theme selected was a topical issue in Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, “We are all aware of what is happening in terms of revenue and growing debts level in the economy.”
Also speaking, the 1st Vice President, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Oluropo Dada, who represented the President, Oluwole Adeosun, noted that there was nothing wrong with government borrowing.
In his words, “If the government does not borrow again, how do I sustain my profession? We have issuers who secure these securities and trading platforms.
“Without trading platforms, we can’t have stockbrokers. So, there is nothing wrong in government borrowing. The issue all around the world is whether these debts are sustainable.
“If our debt-to-GDP is doing well, what about service ratio to revenue that is over 90 per cent? What happened to the GDP? We seem to be comparing ourselves to big economies and the market capitalisation of five companies in the US is larger than the entire GDP of Africa.
“Why are we comparing ourselves to bigger economies? We cannot compare ourselves to the US and other bigger economies because there are some fundamental issues. The fundamental issue is the role of government to provide an enabling environment.
“Provide infrastructure, security among other things. If the government does not solve the issue of enabling the environment, it will be difficult to solve our problem of revenue and debt service.”