UK govt to support Nigeria’s financial sector, innovation

The United Kingdom has reiterated its commitment to supporting Nigeria’s financial sector, particularly, the capital market in being more innovative, sustainable and resilient to emerging climate change challenges.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, stated this at the unveiling of the Revised Capital Market Master Plan (RCMMP) in Lagos at the weekend.

Represented by the Head of Economic Development, Ms. Sally Woolhouse, she said the UK is poised to continue to supporting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to deepen Nigeria’s capital markets.

According to her, “The UK government which has been a long-staying ally of the Nigerian government, is committed to supporting the country’s financial sector, particularly, the capital market in being more innovative, sustainable and resilient even as we all face emerging challenges such as climate change.

“As I have earlier mentioned, our offer covers technical support including green the capital market – Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa is doing an awesome job in partnering with you to drive this mission; also, we can explore the potential strategic engagement with UK financial market institutions such as the London Stock Exchange – through which SEC could gain insight into emerging trends.

“Once again, congratulations to the Nigerian government and well done to the SEC for pulling off a commendable feat. We look forward to working more collaboratively with every partner in achieving a sustainable and resilient financial sector in Nigeria”.

In his remarks on the outcome of the Capital Market Committee Meeting, the Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, said the meeting emphasised the increasing importance of fintech, sustainable finance, financial inclusion and non-interest finance.

Yuguda said members of the CMC agreed to collectively work towards the enactment of the Investments and Securities Bill 2022, which will enhance the performance of the Nigerian capital market and align it with global best practices.

The bill seeks to improve the legal and regulatory framework that will accommodate the dynamics of the market.

The DG reiterated the commitment of management of the commission to ensure full implementation of the initiatives of the RCMMP, which would form the basis of the policy direction of the commission for the coming years

Representative of FSD Africa, Victor Nkiri said developing a capital market master plan provides a clear roadmap for the development of the capital markets holistically and realistically whilst setting clear targets and action points.

According to him, this provides positive market signalling to all financial sector players such as policymakers, potential domestic and international investors, peer regulators and ministries of finance as it provides direction for the capital market development of any country.

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