The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again affirmed that the capital market has the potential to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country as well as aid economic development.
This was stated by executive commissioner, Operations of SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan at the annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) with the theme: ‘Financing Infrastructure & SMEs for inclusive growth in post COVID-19 economy’, held in Lagos weekend.
Obisan said there are a number of options that can be explored one of which is Sukuk that is directly linked to each project and deployed to extend credit to bridge the gap.
According to him, “there are a number of options that can be explored to bridge the infrastructure gap. One of them that has been used in the past is Sukuk. In the last three to four years, Sukuk has been used to raise funding for critical projects in various sectors of the economy.
“We also have collective investment schemes. These are individual monies, maybe, by some institutions, and over N100 billion has been done. We have about three surviving infrastructure-focused funds in Nigeria totalling almost N100 billion and there are some that are registered programmes. One of them has a programme of N200 billion and they have only launched N76 billion. So, there is still a lot of room for growth.
SEC, he said, has allowed crowdfunding platforms, that means, people that do not even know each other can come together and fund a business, adding that, “these are the kind of things we have available, not only for government but also for individuals.”
While admitting that there are quite a couple of instruments available in the capital market, the SEC commissioner stated that the major thing to note is that infrastructure development is a long term thing.
He reiterated the commitment of SEC as a regulatory agency to creating an enabling environment for everyone to be able to access the capital market.
He enjoined FICAN to join hands with the government to espouse these opportunities available in the capital market to, especially, foreign investors.