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SEC to develop healthcare infrastructure fund

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. Insists on zero tolerance to infractions
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has unfolded plans to develop a capital market-sponsored Healthcare Infrastructure Fund, as part of measures to tackle the effects of COVID-19 and other related cases.

Besides, the Commission also announced that it has commenced work on the rules on warehousing and collateral management, as regards the commodities exchange to ensure the existence of a conducive regulatory framework that will drive the entire system.

The fund will be structured on a commercial basis to generate good returns to investors, and provide the needed healthcare infrastructure in the country.

To this effect, the SEC, according to the Director-General, Lamido Yuguda, is currently working with the government to ensure that the right policies are put in place for infrastructure development, while the Capital Market Committee (CMC), has been mandated to come up with modalities to fast-track the take-off of the initiative.

At a first virtual post-CMC meeting, held Friday, Yuguda said the Commission is determined to maintain an appropriate regulatory environment, zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence with good governance practices to increase market visibility, and make it more attractive.

“Before the COVID-19, the market needed a revamp to attract investors and issuers. We need to demonstrate to investors that the terms are worth it, and that we can generate good returns from the market with their investment secured.”
On what stakeholders should expect from the new SEC management, Yuguda said: “Expect a much simpler capital market. Presently, transactions in the market are quite complicated from the point of buying the stocks to getting returns on investment, and people do not want to go through this process.

“Again, expect an increased effort on investors’ protection, both in CIS and transactions. There are a lot of loopholes capitalised on by operators to short-change investors. We are eagerly working to cross this.”

He stressed the need to deepen the market through increased investors and issuers’ patronage, as well as investment of the Nigeria Contributory Pension Fund (CPS) in the capital market.

“The Pension Fund is accumulating. It is derived from salaries and wages. A significant portion of it can be invested in the capital market, but they are not doing it.

“This is a pool of money; what is stopping pension funds from being invested in the market. We need to attract this so that the market will soar even in pandemic.”

He said the Commission would ensure strict enforcement of rules and regulations by strengthening its enforcement units to clamp down on illegal operators luring unsuspecting investors with various Ponzi schemes, and restore investor confidence in the market.

He also stressed the need for collaboration among stakeholders to facilitate market development.

“The Commission is open to engagements with stakeholders that will foster new partnerships and strengthen our commitments towards the development and transformation of the capital market,” he said.

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