A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

West African capital markets set for integration

07 March 2015, Lagos –  The Chairman, Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Suleyman Ndanusa on Thursday hinted that all capital markets within the West African sub-region would be integrated by the first quarter of 2016.

Speaking in Abuja at the opening of the 5th meeting of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC), he expressed satisfaction with the progress so far made in the integration process, noting that significant achievement had been recorded in two out of the three integration phases required.

The phases include direct access market phase; the qualified West African stockbroker phase and the West African capital market phase, which is considered the ultimate phase.

Ndanusa said: “According to the time-table, by the end of 2015, we should have substantially gone through all the stages. We have three stages and we attained stage 1 in April 2014; we are working towards stage two and three. So obviously, latest by first quarter of 2016, we should have attained the three stages for integrating the capital market in West Africa.”

He urged the council to push harder for the harmonisation of market processes, regime instruments, while ensuring the environment is as adaptable as possible and that compliance cost minimal.

He said: “Let us push harder for the harmonisation of market processes, regimes and instruments, while ensuring the environment is as adaptable as possible and that compliance costs are minimal. We should also properly situate financial literacy and financial inclusion within the architecture of this integration project. The people of this region must, after all, be carried along for the ultimate actualisation of this lofty dream.”

According to him, integrating the markets would not only empower the region to be a formidable force to other emerging markets, but would also tackle the challenge of depth and liquidity which would help create a bigger market for both local and foreign investors.

He further disclosed that the issue of lack of a single currency for the sub-region was currently being looked into by the West African Monetary Union.

“There is a technical committee working on this issue made up of the central bank’s of participating countries for this market. We are working with the ministries of finances and so by the time we get to the level of full integration, that issue would have been resolved,” he said.

Meanwhile, outgoing Chairman, WACMIC, Mr. Oscar Onyeama called on the technical committee members of the council to ensure that the implementation continued and that markets are positioned to play a critical role in development across the sub-region.

Onyeama who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian STOCK EXCHANGE said with a population of over 300 million people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $600 billion and a landmass bigger than that of the European Union, the region should witness improvement in its GDP.

He further disclosed that the issue of lack of a single currency for the sub-region was currently being looked into by the West African Monetary Union.

– This Day

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