SEC, Fund Managers work on E-transfer  to boost financial inclusion

By Chioma Obinagwam

The President of Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN), Dr. Ore Sofekun has said that the association is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on electronic transfer of funds in order to boost financial inclusion.

Speaking at the annual workshop of Capital Market Correspondents Association (CAMCAN) of Nigeria held in Badagry, Lagos at the weekend, Sofekun noted that electronic transfer of funds will ensure confidence building between investors and fund managers and encourage more savings.

Sofekun, who spoke on the topic, “Deepening Retail Investors’ Participation in the Capital Market, said increased saving will accelerate economic growth.

According to her, “If we really want to develop our country, we have to save for long term.”

Sofekun, who is also the Managing Director of Investment One Venture Capital, said  the number of domestic investors who invested in the money market funds in 2008, was higher than foreign investors.

She added that foreign  investors took over and when the economy was down, they went away with their dollars.

“In United Kingdom, average investors save their money for six to seven years as a day a child is born, parents begin to save for his or her University education as both primary and secondary school education is free.” she said.

Also speaking, the  Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Services, FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Ms.Kaodi Ugoji, said people are not taking advantage of opportunities in the capital market as two per cent of retail investors participate in the capital market compared to 43 per cent in United States or 19 per cent in South Africa.

She noted that listing of State Government bonds in the OTC market will forestall default as people will have opportunity to take position in the bonds.

She said that key documents of companies listed in the FMDQ market are posted in the website for investors to take good decision.

In his presentation, the National Coordinator-elect of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria(ISAN), Mr. Adeniyi Adebisi, who  noted that market capitalization of equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has shrunk from N14 trillion to N8.6 trillion, said government needs to restore confidence in the capital market.

He said: “Confidence of the investors, especially, retail shareholders, have been jolted and severely shaken. It will require a great deal of efforts on the part of government at the highest level of authority to bring back the confidence.”

“Essentially, investment is saving and not gambling. From this perspective, many investors who had their fingers badly burnt might have acted from not too altruistic motives,” he continued.

Adebisi suggested  that massive education of the investors should be embarked upon by all the stakeholders in the capital market.

“Some inducements may be worked out as well,”he suggested.