Stakeholders Harp on Importance of Digitization, Financial Inclusion on Capital Market Growth
Friday, October 19,  201 8

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, on Friday, October 19, 2018, organised the 3rd edition of its Market Data Workshop in Lagos. The workshop brought together more than 500 attendees, and 28 speakers and panel discussants, for rich discussions on the themed, “Digitization, Disruption and Financial Inclusion”.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar N. Onyema, OON, said that over the past few years, the finance industry in Nigeria has experienced tremendous transformation caused by disruptive technologies, with the Nigerian customers becoming accustomed to the digital experience offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook with the use of smartphones. 

He noted that “according to research, smartphone penetration in Nigeria is estimated at 28 per cent, with 76 per cent of internet traffic routed through the mobile phone. In response to the exponential growth in mobile phone usage by an exploding young population, banks are adopting new technologies with a customer-centric focus to make financial services more inclusive and to provide a superior customer experience in the access and use of capital. In the capital market eco-system, digitalization is fast gaining momentum, as purpose-built solutions are being developed to reduce redundancies, cut costs and increase efficiencies for greater transparency and alpha returns”. 

According to Onyema, the overall participation of the Nigerian capital market in the fourth industrial revolution is far less than that of our counterparts in developed and emerging economies. “To ensure that Nigeria remains a globally competitive investment destination, we need to deepen the collaborative effort among market stakeholders to determine which emerging technologies to pursue within our markets and local context.”

Delivering her keynote address, Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Uduk, asserted that the regulatory body was focused on serving as an enabler for innovation and technology that will drive financial inclusion in the country. “SEC, together with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other sister regulatory agencies, have made important contributions to the progress of financial inclusion through valuable guidance and active involvement in the National Financial Strategy (NFS) aimed at reducing adult exclusion from financial services to 20 per cent by 2020. NSE is poised to contribute to and share even more insights in the collaborative quest to make the Nigerian economy a financially inclusive one”. 

She added that financial inclusion is an integral part of inclusive growth strategies and should be closely integrated into macroeconomic and financial policies, using digitized finance mechanisms. “When financial systems become more inclusive, they help broaden financial markets and make policies more effective. By bringing more sections of the population into the formal sector, the effects of market-deepening initiatives are better expanded”. 

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT Mr Olarenwaju Osibona lauded the NSE for hosting the Market Data workshop, which was geared towards harnessing the possibilities of deploying technology and innovation for the markets. He assured stakeholders that the Federal Government was working assiduously to reposition Nigeria, as a strategic nation utilizing the fourth industrial revolution that is driven digital technology. 

The 2018 NSE Market Data Workshop was sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc, Zanibal Solutions, Gems Consult Limited, Meristem Group, Neulogic Solutions, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Wapic Insurance Plc., Eagle Global Markets Limited, Central Securities Clearing System Plc. and NTEL.