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Regulators harp on financial inclusion, good corporate governance, others


Mary Uduk

. Seplat emerges Pearl of capital market for 2018
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its resolve to pursue initiatives that would aid financial inclusion in Nigeria and grow the economy.

Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms. Mary Uduk, stated this at the 2018 PEARL Awards Night held in Lagos on Sunday.

Uduk pointed out that the SEC will continue to highlight and promote developments and trends in the Nigerian capital market and drive financial inclusion aimed at reducing adult exclusion from financial services.

She said: “Innovations in financial technology, has made possible the potential of using digital tools to make financial services available to a wider range of consumers and enterprises, promoting financial inclusion and the affordability of financial services.

“A financially inclusive society will provide increased access to finance, especially for women, help support sustainable growth—and will create million more jobs. The gains of having a more inclusive financial system are enormous, as it helps broaden financial markets and make policies more effective.”

While commending the efforts of the Board of Governors and management of PEARL Awards Nigeria, for giving consideration to companies with good corporate governance practice, Uduk enjoined them to emphasise on more future editions and encourage companies with technological innovation in the capital market in the advent of the convergence of Finance and Technology (FinTech) in future.

Uduk also disclosed that the SEC is implementing various initiatives, which are aimed at making the market deeper, vibrant and more effective.

According to her, “The forbearance window for shareholders with multiple subscriptions has been extended by another year from the December 31, 2018 deadline previously communicated. Consequently, we enjoin those who have not come forward for the regularization of shares purchased with multiple identities, to do so.

“We have also developed a two-pronged approach to addressing the intractable challenges associated with transmission of shares related to the estate of deceased investors. The first step would involve engagement with and enlightenment of the Probate Registry with a view to providing solutions to the cumbersome process of transmitting shares. Secondly, rules would be developed around the time frame for transmission shares and the fee structure.”

Also speaking at the occasion, the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Abimbola Ogunbajo, stressed the need for listed firms’ to adopt international best practice in corporate governance.

According to him, this ensures corporate success, minimises wastages and mismanagement as well as improves investors’ confidence in the market.

“This year’s theme underpins the need for every company to adopt and sustain highest international standard of corporate governance. It ensures corporate success, maintains investors’ confidence to raise capital, minimises wastages and mismanagement.  It is what every well meaning company must strive to maintain.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Pearl Awards Nigeria, Tayo Orekoya, while announcing Seplat Plc as the Pearl of capital market for 2018, said the Nigerian capital market witnessed turbulent times this year with huge losses in share value and value.

He however, noted that in spite of the challenges in the capital market and the economy, some companies continued to weather the storm, outperforming others thereby sustaining their leadership of the market.

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