The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has harped on the need for enhanced investment in education and enlightenment to boost the participation of retail investors in the Nigerian capital market.
Acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, stated this during the planning and writing workshop for the development of Capital Market Studies Curriculum (CMSC) for Basic and Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos.
The planning and writing workshop for the development of Capital Market Studies Curriculum was in partnership with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).
Uduk, noted that the development of the curriculum would enable Nigerians, especially the youth, to make formed investment decisions.
She said SEC had been in the vanguard of inculcating financial literacy and had realised that it was very important for students to be familiar with the operations of the capital market.
Uduk said the capital market literacy programme was part of the commission’s effort at vigorously pursuing the implementation of one of the essential initiatives of the 10-year Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan.
She alluded that the implementation programme commenced with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SEC and the NERDC in 2016.
According to her, the major aim was to develop a Stand-alone Capital Market Studies Curriculum (CMSC) for infusion into Basic and Senior Secondary Schools.
“I am happy to announce that after a successful workshop for contents selection, the stage is now set for the planning and writing of the standalone curriculum.
“The commission recognises the efforts required for other stages of the programme and remains confident that with the active support and commitment of our stakeholders, we will complete this project,” she assured.
Executive Secretary, NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, in his remarks said the capital market connected the financial sector with the real sector of the economy and in the process, facilitated real sector growth and economic development.
According to Junaidu, it increases the proportion of long-term savings that are channeled to long term investments.
He said the capital market had been described as the major vehicle for mobilising long-term funds for investment purposes.
“A nation’s growth is expected to promote an efficient and effective financial sector that pools domestic savings and mobilises capital for productive purposes.
“An economy that is not growing can hinder stock market development, and engender such problems as low capitalization.
“This limits the savings function of the stock market; and illiquidity of the market which is a disincentive to investment,” Junaidu said.
He described capital market education as a strategic imperative which requires a comprehensive curriculum run by competent academic and professional personnel.
Junaidu noted that early involvement of the youth in capital market studies was perhaps the antidote to over-dependence on paid employments.
He said this was one of the reasons why SEC approached NERDC to mainstream capital market issues into the national curriculum.
The Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University Keffi, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, who also spoke at the event, said investors’ level of awareness of the capital market was very low.
He commended SEC for the initiative, noting that it would go a long way in boosting investors’ knowledge of the market.
Uwaleke urged the commission to move beyond secondary schools and get professional bodies such as ICAN to inculcate capital market issues in their curriculum.
Uwaleke said the shallow local investor base makes the nation’s purse to bleed anytime foreign investors pull out their funds from the market.
Uwaleke said Nigeria needed to grow retail and institutional investors’ base like Malaysia and Indonesia to withstand foreign outflow shocks.