To address the infrastructure deficit currently affecting capital markets in the West African region, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has stated that a harmonised regulatory environment, as well as smart infrastructure, will help drive Africa’s competitiveness in the global market.
Speaking at the two-day Capacity Building/Sensitization program on the West African Capital Markets Integration (WACMI) Phase 2 Project held in Lagos, NGX Chief Executive Officer, Temi Popoola said the WACMI Phase 2 Project is another milestone for the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), the West Africa Securities Regulatory Association (WASRA), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) in their efforts to integrate West African capital markets through innovative technology.
Popoola, represented by NGX’s Divisional Head, Capital Markets, Jude Chiemeka, appreciated the African Development Bank (AfDB) for sponsoring the regional integration program to establish a harmonized regulatory environment for issuing and trading financial securities across West Africa.
He said this would help address the infrastructure deficit severely impeding Africa’s global market competitiveness.
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According to Popoola, Phase II will facilitate cross-border securities trading, enable free flow of trading information, support product and securities creation on linked exchanges, and drive innovation in investment services.
With the changes driven by technology, he stressed the need to build capacity aligned with current realities and ensure market policies and frameworks evolve to suit the fourth industrial revolution, so Africa can earn its rightful global place.
“In this regard, we must develop the skills that will drive the smart infrastructure Africa urgently requires,” he added.
Earlier, West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) Director General, Olorunsola Olowofeso said Phase II activities include developing and hosting a centralized database/website for the West African market region to harmonize rules and build stakeholder capacity.
Olowofeso assured continued collaboration with WASRA and WACMIC to complete the project by June 2024. He said the project will boost investor confidence by providing robust statistical data.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director General Lamido Yuguda said the initiative establishes a common, integrated platform for listing, trading and settling securities transactions in West Africa.
Represented by SEC Executive Commissioner Operations Dayo Obisan, Yuguda said capital markets channel capital from surplus to deficit, enabling production and development.
He explained that strong capital markets are a prerequisite for development.
“There is a need to expand sub-regional markets. Encouraging cross-border activity increases opportunities, aids investment diversification, and promotes skills and best practice transfer,” Yuguda stated.