SEC Chairman seeks exploration of non-oil sector

SEC releases rules on crowdfunding, pegs paid-up capital at N100m
Written by Maritime First

…As a Nigerian is selected among 10 startsup by Dubai Chamber of Commerce***

The Chairman of the board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Olufemi Lijadu, has stressed the need for exploration of the country’s non-oil sector for economic growth and development.

Lijadu said that exploration of the non-oil sector, especially the capital market, would enable Nigeria attain its full growth potential.

He spoke at a breakfast meeting between the board and stakeholders in the capital market in Lagos on Wednesday.

“We all love our country and we need to develop our country. We have potential and it’s time we start taking steps to realise the potential.

“We need money to develop our economy, and to get the money, we need to attract investors — both local and foreign.

“To be able to attract them, our markets need to have the basic rules that are obtainable anywhere else in the world by aligning ourselves with best practices internationally,” he said.

The chairman said that the apex capital market regulator and market operators had the same interest of enhancing the growth of the market.

He expressed the need for all to work together in the overall interest of the market and the economy.

“We are ready to listen to you, to be accessible to you and to work with you.

“This meeting is the beginning of a partnership that we hope will continue.

“You are there in the market and can give us that sensitivity of what the market is feeling and can give us that direction to frame our policies in the interest of the market,’’ Lijadu said.

The board chairman commended the market operators for the degree of interaction with SEC,  and said that the cooperation would get better.

He expressed confidence on the level of knowledge and professionalism of stakeholders in the market.

Lijadu said by the time views and suggestions from the interaction are put together, the market would arrive at some solutions.

“We are key pillars in the ability of our country to find solutions to its developmental needs by attracting relevant funding, together we can make our country great,’’he said.

Earlier in her welcome address, Ms. Mary Uduk, SEC Acting Director-General, lauded the stakeholders for the support they had extended to the commission during the four years it operated without a board.

Uduk enjoined them to continue to support the SEC in its effort to regulate and develop the market.

“You are the ones that provide us with guidance as to the direction the market should go because you are the ones at the forefront and know it firsthand.

“We are happy that you have agreed to be with us here today.

“We are here today to rub minds with you and further solicit your cooperation in all that we intend to do to deepen the market,’’ Uduk said.

Also read:  Low liquidity: Capital market operators task SEC, NSE, others on local participation

She said that the commission’s board was made up of formidable people that would lead the market to the next level.

Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Managing Director, commended the board for the great initiative to meet with the capital market operators.

Jalo-Waziri described the development as a good start aimed at deepening the nation’s capital market.

He said that the market needs to form a formidable force to achieve the desired growth and development.

In the meantime, a Nigerian, Mr Kenneth Obiajulu-Okonkwo, and five other Africans have been selected among 10 startups by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The other five are from the UAE.

Obiajulu-Okonkwo, who is the co-Founder and Managing Director of FarmCrowdy Nigeria, prior to their selection, participated in the first-ever Chamberthon, which took place in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this year.

During the Chamberthon, 20 UAE and African startups worked together to develop the structure and criteria of the Global Business Forum (GBF) Mentorship Programme.

FarmCrowdy is focussed on providing major processors and international buyers the opportunity to buy commodities directly from farm clusters through technology.

Obiajulu-Okonkwo said at the forum on Wednesday in Dubai that his company had optimised the market access to African farmers and also improve their income by at least 40 per cent.

“FarmCrowdy Africa brings the farmers closer to the processors and off-takers by eliminating the layers of intermediaries in the value chain.

“Our business model focus on identifying major processors and international buyers for certain commodities through their platform and identifying the production clusters and building relationships with local farmers in those areas.

“It also involves getting major processors to place orders via the platform and aggregating the commodities from smallholder farmers.

“The forum pays attention to the unique specifications of the buyers and delivery of the commodities to the major processors or the international buyer’s agent,’’ he said.

Obiajulu-Okonkwo said that he was excited with the opportunity given to him by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to speak at his stand.

“It also afforded me the opportunity to showcase my business concepts and solutions at the forum,’’ Obiajulu-Okonkwo told NAN.

The President of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Hamad Buamim, said the selection of startups was an important step forward in establishing bridges of communication and cross-border cooperation between UAE and African startups.

Buamim pointed out that many of the selected startups specialised in advanced technologies, smart solutions, artificial intelligence and fintech.

He added that collaboration in these key areas would pave the way for mutual benefits and growth for both business communities.

“Startups are playing an active role in fostering innovation as they leverage and test out cutting-edge technologies that improve the way we live and work.

“The GBF Mentorship Programme provides an ideal platform for high-potential startups to develop their business concepts, benefit from collaboration, access new growth opportunities through the Global Business Forum on Africa platform and build valuable partnerships.

“Such efforts complement Dubai Chamber’s programmes and initiatives offered to entrepreneurs through Dubai Startup Hub,’’ Buamim said.


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Maritime First