Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said that the House of Representatives is in the process of tightening regulations in the stock market in order to ensure that the investment of Nigerians and other players are protected from fraudulent operators.
The Speaker said this while delivering an address at the opening ceremony of Stakeholders Forum on the Capital Market and Nigeria’s economy at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja. He said that this has become imperative in view of the fact that the nation is in dire need of investors to bring in resources to diversify its sources of income.
Dogara said, “We strongly believe that the Capital Market is a major tool for wealth creation and mobilisation of funds to grow and diversify the Nigerian economy. We want to emphasize that any proposed legislation must find a way to protect ordinary Nigerians, some of whom have invested their life savings in the market, from fraudulent market players. Many Nigerian’s have tales of woes from the irresponsible activities of these unscrupulous stakeholders in the market. The recent regulatory sanctions to some stock brokers and market players is, therefore, a step in the right direction.”
The conference was organized by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Capital Market and Institutions.
Going further, the Speaker stressed that the Capital Market offers the best opportunity to diversify the economy by bringing fresh vistas and windows for investment, while expressing confidence that the Capital Market can and should fill this gap by taking the lead in yielding opportunities that will help in revamping Nigeria’s economy.
He expressed the willingness of the House of Representatives to contribute “our quota, to arrest this dangerous drift. Considering Nigeria’s population, human and material resources, our Capital Market could do much better in terms of depth, breadth, size, liquidity and access to investment opportunities.”
He also noted that Nigeria as a nation was blessed with what it takes to be economically self-sufficient but must look inwards to ascertain the reason it has not been able to attain that status.
“At the heart of these questions must be the realisation that “deep calls unto deep”. Anything of valour is never found on the surface. Concomitantly, for our market to deliver its full potentials, it must be deepened. This, I believe is the major challenge before all of us here today,” the Speaker said.
He called on all stakeholders to work together to ensure that Nigeria’s diversification drive achieves its full potentials, saying, “As major stakeholders in the Nigerian-project, the National Assembly strongly believes that a pro-active engagement and collaboration between the Legislature, the Executive and Organised Private Sector, will help to achieve the economic potentials of Nigeria’s Capital Market. It is indisputable that continued collaboration and buy-in of major stakeholders in the Public and Private sectors is one of the major ways of attaining the lofty ideals and salient objectives of the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan.
“Indeed, the main participants in the Nigerian capital market are the Securities and Exchange Commission (regulatory), Nigerian Stock Exchange, stock brokers, legal practitioners, trustees, issuing houses, registrars, etc, who must all work together to rescue the market. Also relevant are the investors such as insurance companies, pension funds, institutional investors, individual investors and the general investing public.”