The Securities and Exchange Commission has admonished Credit Rating Agencies operating in Nigeria to focus on investors’ protection in all their dealings, services, and activities within the capital market.
This was contained in the goodwill message delivered on behalf of Mallam Lamido Yuguda, the Director General of the Commission, by its Head of Monitoring Department, Mr. Adamu Sambo at the Inaugural Edition of DataPro’s Annual Webinar on Credit Rating Imperatives for Issuers and Investors, held recently in Abuja.
The Webinar, attended by participants from different parts of the world, was hosted by DataPro, a technology-driven Credit Rating Agency and the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria.
The program, which was staged to sensitise the Investing Public on the activities of Credit Rating Agencies within the Capital Market and also espouse the value proposition of Rating Reports in bridging the information asymmetry existing between Capital Market Operators and the Investing Public, had various Stakeholders within the Nigerian economy in attendance.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DataPro, Mr. Abimbola Adeseyoju called for greater socialisation of the crucial role played by Credit Rating Agencies in the efficient allocation of capital and resources within the economy.
According to him, DataPro will henceforth be charting a new course in the Credit Rating Industry in Nigeria and focusing on the way forward as well as on how Investors and Issuers alike can adapt to the new normal and drive economic growth and development through the various securities, products and services available in the Nigerian Debt Market.
In the keynote address, delivered on behalf of Mr. Bola Onadele Koko, the Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ Group by Ms. Tumi Sekoni the Managing Director of FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited, titled “Galvanising the Capacity of the Nigerian Debt Capital Market”, it was opined that the COVID-19 Pandemic negatively affected the new wave of globalisation with massive decline in World Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and net travel leading to a 3 per cent traction on Global GDP in 2020.
He said, the recession was short-lived with an economic rebound in Q4 2020 which was however below pre-pandemic projections. “The Central Banks across the world reportedly cut interest rate 207 times in 2020.
In the face of low interest rate, the National Governments recorded an increase of 36 per cent in Sovereign Debt issuance in 2020. Corporate Bond Issuance also increased by 66 per cent in 2020 as against 2019″
“It was noted that the Debt Capital Market has the capacity to transform Nigeria from building infrastructure, driving agriculture, inspiring industrialization to providing employment opportunities all of which are embedded in the mission of the FMDQ to empower markets towards delivering economic prosperity” he said.