Business - Business & Economy - News - June 23, 2021

Digital platforms will aid financial inclusion – SEC

MEDIATRACNET
 
Digital platforms will facilitate the democratization of access to capital market products and servicesas well as promote greater financial inclusion in the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said. 
The Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Reginald Karawusa, said at a webinar organised by the Commission with the them “Digital platforms: New Frontier for capital Market inclusion”.
“As the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, with a dual mandate to regulate and develop the market, we recognize that the greatest asset of any capital market and indeed any financial market, is its investors.
“It is investors, whether retail or institutional that provide the savings needed for productive investments.  Inclusion of the excluded population is therefore critical for deepening a sustainable capital market.
 The Enhancing Finance in Africa (EFInA) 2020 Report on the Nigerian “FinTech Landscape and Impact Assessment Study”, as at December 2018, said about 40 percent of Nigerians were still financially excluded.
About 51.1 percent of the excluded population are women, while 61.5 percent are between the ages of 18 and 35.
Also, about 34 percent had no formal education and 80.4 percent resided in rural areas.  
This, Yuguda said, means that 40 percent of Nigerians who are financially excluded, especially those between the ages of 18 and 35 are also excluded from participation in the Nigerian capital market.  
This low level of involvement in the market, he said, has spurred the Commission to intensify its investor education efforts to attract greater participation in the capital market by both existing and potential investors.  
The SEC Boss asserted that the capital market, as part of the Fintech eco system, is witnessing changes in the conduct of market activities with the emergence of digital platforms which provide wide scale, cost effective and efficient solution for inclusion of potential investors in the capital market, especially the younger population. 
“Since 2018, the Commission has been engaging stakeholders within this space, to develop an efficient regulatory framework that will mandate responsible digital financial practices to protect investors or consumers. 
“The discussions and insight from this webinar, therefore, will be instrumental in shaping the regulatory landscape for the operation of these platforms, as well as support our efforts in securing the mutual benefits from their emergence,” he said. 
He restated the Commission’s objectives, which he said are to build a modern, efficient and low-cost market characterized by adequate product offerings, efficient processes and market integrity.  
“We must do this continually by raising standards, embracing new technology, introducing new products, enhancing our processes, widening the investor-base, invigorating investor education and providing an enabling regulatory framework to support it all” he added.  9
The Director Market Development Department at the SEC, Edward Okolo said the topic for discussion was apt based on prevailing circumstances and global realities.
The importance of financial inclusion and digital platforms in such times when human interaction and business operations are limited cannot be over emphasized. The global business thrives on digital products platforms and processes.

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