SEC Seeks Increase In Domestic Investment, Assures On Vibrant Market

The acting director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, has assured Nigerians that the commission will continue to ensure that the market remains vibrant in order to attract investors both locally and internationally.

Gwarzo gave the assurance when he received members of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) who visited him in the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

He said the current management will strive to develop domestic investment from retail and institutional investors.

He said, “We will step up to reach out to the market and improve investment. On the international side, what is most important is the enabling environment. Right now the rules are very friendly and that is why we keep changing them from time to time to suit best practices and attract investors.”

Earlier in his remarks, the president and chairman of the Governing Council of the CIS, Mr Albert Okumagba, lamented the over 60 per cent control of the stock market by foreign investors. He said the current situation where over 60 per cent of the market is controlled by foreign investors give serious cause for concern.

“The level of participation of our locals is effectively less than three million when ideally over 80 million of our people should be in the market.

Our coverage of insurance assets in Nigeria is not up to two per cent of insurable assert; if we can increase from two to 20 per cent and then to 50 per cent, we will be shocked at the kind of contribution that insurance can make,” he said.

Okumagba further disclosed that for pension, coverage is about eight per cent, noting that if Nigerians that are supposed to be captured by the pension reform act come on stream, we can do multiples of the N4.7 trillion that has been mobilised.

“We have opportunities for our own domestic investors; the pension companies have over $25 billion which they have taken as money and even though they have a room of about 25 per cent to invest, only about 12 per cent of that has been invested. We believe that some of the factors that are holding the market down today, issues of security, election and crude oil prices, will soon ease off and once the election is over, the market will begin to stabilise,”he said.


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