ICMR, SEC, CSCS and FinTechNGR say collaboration, key to reshape Nigeria’s capital market for efficiency

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Capital Market operators have said the adoption of technology and an embrace of fintechs would birth innovative products in the capital market.

This was stated by the Chief Executive, Central Securities Clearing System Plc, Haruna Jalo-Waziri, at the 12th annual conference of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars over the weekend.

The conference was themed, ‘Navigating Nigeria’s Economic Realities: The Transformative Power of Technology in the Capital Market.’

Jalo-Waziri, who was represented by a director at the CSCS, Tobe Nnadozie, said, “One of the reasons everyone had to accommodate the fintechs in the banking space was that the entry of the fintechs was translating to the growth of the market.  So even though they came in as fringe players, they brought in a lot of innovations. So those who are traditional are beginning to say, ‘If we remain traditional, we will lose relevance in this market.’

And that’s why every bank today is investing in a fintech with all the HoldCos coming up or strategically supporting a fintech brand.

“If we want this market to grow, we need to encourage fintech so that they can come in and bring very innovative products.”

In his welcome remarks, the President/Chairman of Council, ICMR, Oluseyi Owoturo, said the theme of the conference had been premised on the challenging economic conditions of the country.

He said, “At this conference, owing to the weakened macroeconomic environment, surging inflation that is pushing millions of Nigerians into poverty amidst global commodity shocks, depreciating currency, trade restrictions, steady decline in per capita income, fall in real GDP growth to 3.3 per cent in 2022 from 3.6 per cent in 2021, and the dramatic alteration of the capital markets over the past few decades through technology-induced innovations such as electronic exchanges and high-frequency trading; the Institute would want us to deliberate on how Nigeria is navigating these economic realities. Consequently, our theme for this year’s conference is “Navigating Nigeria’s Economic Realities: The Transformative Power of Technology in the Capital Market.”

“It is our desire that this conference should expose what should be done to regain economic momentum through the capital markets in Nigeria, discover the secrets of navigating uncertainties in the economy, and how innovative technology could help transform and expand the capital market.”

The President, FinTech Nigeria, Ade Bajomo, during his keynote address urged capital market operators to harness technology’s potential to boost their operations while being cautious of associated risks.

Bajomo said, “Technology has the potential to be a powerful equaliser and if our industry is to play a part in the fifth industrial era, then we must have capital market operators use the technology.

It has been proven time and time again that those who exploit technology in a certain manner will keep competitive advantage.
“We must also be mindful of the potential risks in the use of the technology in our capital market. We must ensure we have appropriate regulatory framework in place to protect investors and maintain market integrity.

In conclusion, the power of technology in transforming the capital market is undeniable. However, we must use this power responsibly and with caution.”

Speaking on the topic ‘Empowering market participants through education and capacity building,’ the Executive Commissioner, Operations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Dayo Obisan, advised registrars to first of all identify the participants in the sector, which has changed due to technology, in order to educate them.
He said, “The market has changed. There has been a lot of dynamics. A lot of people use the word, fintechs loosely but a lot is happening in that space and that was one of the reasons we had to quickly revise the capital market master plan. Back then, there were no fintechs, there were no digital brokers, there were no robot advisors, but we now have those, and we had to quickly register.

In his presentation at the conference, Professor of Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke, advised companies to diversify their business operations in order to weather the economic headwinds in the country.

He said innovation and resilience are essential for sustainable business growth in an uncertain world.
“Core principles of business resilience include risk identification, contingency planning, diversification, innovation, and strong relationships with customers and suppliers.
“Strategies for sustainable business growth during uncertain times include developing new products and services, adopting new technologies, creating sustainable business models, focusing on innovation management, building a strong brand and reputation, leveraging customer-centric innovation, data-driven decision-making, and nurturing strong relationships with customers and suppliers,” he said.

At the event, the investiture of five Honorary Fellows and nine Fellows held while 27 Associates were inducted.