Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the federal government was working with the African Development Bank (AFDB) to establish innovation fund for technological growth.
Osinbajo stated this at the opening ceremony of the 22nd African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) Annual General Meeting and Conference organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, yesterday.
Osinbajo said that the fund was aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Nigeria’s information and Communications technology industry.
“Given the size of our economy and the potential of technology and creative segment I am hopeful that capital market operators will work towards innovative financing solutions to lend further support to these two sectors,” he said.
Osinbajo said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would soon be issuing license for payment service banks which would increase access to financial services, low income earners and the unbanked.
He said that partnership was also essentially to ensure that African champions continue to rise in a sustainable manner.
Osinbajo said that government was committed to ensure macroeconomic stability in an inclusive economy with a diversified production base.
The vice president noted that African companies essentially those listed on the exchanges and those that make up the association must also be champions on the rise, saying that companies must innovate and take advantage of the unique features of the African economy.
“It is evident that ASEA has a key role in our quest for economic growth and development.
“This is not only because of the vital role that capital markets play in our domestic economy but because the association reflects the right place of collaboration and partnership required of Africa countries and economic institution to bring about a more vibrant and mere dynamic continental economy,” he said.
Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, urged ASEA to develop a strong and vibrant domestic investors base.
Ahmed represented by the acting director-general, of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, said that low domestic investors base was limiting African capital markets.
She said that the capital market size of Africa was very low thereby limiting market potentials, noting that ASEA must promote world-class capital market characterised by high level of liquidity.
Also, the CEO of NSE, Oscar Onyema highlighted some of the key achievements of the Association over the last few years, saying key among is elevating the profile of ASEA on the global stage and the expansion of portfolio of strategic relationships and alliances.
According to Onyema, in the last year, our strategic relationships have resulted in grants worth approximately $1.2 million from the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa and the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) fund via the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).
“To ensure we deliver value for members and partners, we created a five year strategy running from 2019 to 2023 which will provide a structured approach to delivering on our initiatives.