Financial experts in Nigeria have endorsed planned bill for an Act to facilitate the development of Nigeria’s capital market.
The bill entitled: Demutualization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange( 2017) is to enable the conversion and re-registration of the Exchange from a company limited by guarantee to a public company limited by shares.
The financial experts from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Central Bank of Nigeria, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ministry of Finance endorsed the bill during a one day Joint public hearing of the National Assembly on Thursday, calling on lawmakers to expedite action on the document.
The first endorsement came from the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyeama although with slight amendments aimed at ensuring that the process of demutualization is seamless and in line with international best practices.
Nigeria is one of the few countries in Africa that are yet to embrace demutualization.
Onyeama and his team from NSE believe it is the great game changer the country needs.
The bill has reached scaled 2nd reading in both chambers of the National Assembly and the one day public hearing is to gather suggestions from stakeholders before the final document is produced.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Stock Brokers of Nigeria welcome the planned bill, pointing out that it will provide access to global capital market.
The biggest endorsement perhaps came from major industry regulator, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Senate President, Bukola Saraki who was represented by Senate Deputy Whip, Francis Alimikhena said the bill is one of the instruments the 8th National Assembly hopes to use to stimulate Nigeria’s economic growth.
Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Senator Leo Ogor who represented the Speaker Yakubu Dogara pledged the commitment and total support of the National Assembly for the bill which he said would scale up the efficiency of the NSE.
Addressing the gathering, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Foster Ogolar said demutualization holds the key to develop and strengthen the capital market.
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange plays a major role in the in Nigeria’s financial market and its conversion and re-registration into a public company by shares is essential to develop and strengthen the Nigerian capital market”, he said.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange was incorporated in September 1960 as a private company limited by guarantee and having share capital.
It was re-registered as a company limited by guarantee with no share capital in 1990.