NGX Urged to Leverage Technology to Enhance Retail Investors’ Participation in Stock Market

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Kayode Tokede

Capital market stakeholders have called on Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and market regulator to leverage technology to enhance retail investor participation and drive listings.

This disclosure was made at the recently concluded NGX CEO Roundtable themed “Creating the Enabling Ecosystem for Accessing Capital from the Nigerian Capital Market”.

The Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Mr. Temi Popoola noted that financial literacy and inclusion remain at the front burner for stakeholders in the capital market and the Exchange makes it a priority to contribute its quota towards the achievement of key targets of Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy through initiatives that encourage the wider investing public to develop investment habits.

“To drive listings, we are taking a closer look at our rules to see areas of amendments to ensure companies raise capital more efficiently whilst protecting the investing public. NGX is also working with several stakeholders to ensure that the time to market and the costs for listing are optimized”, he said.

Speaking on the importance of raising awareness about the capital market, CEO, MTN Communications Nigeria Plc, Mr. Karl Toriola  revealed that MTN had implemented activities in driving capital market awareness and participation across 8 locations in Nigeria. “In the world of digital information, leveraging on the digital ecosystem to really educate people on the benefits of the capital market is very critical and the capillarity that has been created by stakeholders has deepened confidence. Using the digital system to optimize the immediate distribution of shares boosts more confidence in the capital market. We need to include the capital market in the curriculum of educational institutions”, he added.

CEO, BUA Foods Plc, Engr Ayodele Abioye further highlighted the need to drive capital market participation among youths and attract retail investors using technology. In his words, “Technology is key as we are in an industry 4.0 era where everything is smart. The younger generation wants things as quickly as possible; they want a quicker way to get their investments back and so we must think of products that can address this. With the advent of Covid-19, tech has evolved and as a result, we need to do more road shows, and set up stock exchange clubs to reach the youths”. Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, CEO, Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), said that Ponzi schemes thrive because the onboarding technique is done immediately, therefore there is a need to improve on the onboarding technique in the capital market.

According to CEO, Stanbic IBTC Capital, Mr Funso Akere , technology plays a pivotal role in the time to market as it simplifies the process and capital market regulators would need to bring in the technology that can transform operations as well as allows for the introduction of some of the innovations already debated. Furthermore, Panellists have asked regulators to review the time to market and make the Capital market more attractive for all key players via technology.