The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on Nigerians to take advantage of various financial services availed by the nation’s equity market and invest in it.
The Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, gave this advice at the Investors Week/financial inclusion sensitization programme on Thursday in Gwagwalada, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Uduk, in her welcome address delivered at the event by the commission’s Head of Investment Education at the Commission, Mr Francis Okafor, advised the residents and other Nigerians to put their money in the right kinds of investments that would guarantee safety of their funds.
Fielding questions from journalists on the sidelines of the event, Okafor urged Nigerians to invest their money wisely instead of keeping them in unsafe places.
He said: “Financial inclusion is mostly for the excluded. We go to the grassroots because it is this kind of people that keep money under the bed which is a minus to the gross domestic product of the country. We encouraged them to bring it to the bank so that it can be used to stimulate the economy,”
While disclosing that SEC was partnering with other financial bodies to ensure the financial inclusion of all Nigerians, Okafor hinted that the regulator was developing a commodity ecosystem for the country mainly about commodities and agricultural products.
He explained further: “Beyond oil, agriculture is a sub-sector that can increase and bring the country to limelight; we have seen that agriculture is going down and that is where the commodity ecosystem comes in.
“We are hoping to establish and increase a commodity exchange that we will compete with be better than what we have today in stock exchanges”, he added.
According to him, he ecosystem is presently at the implementation stage
In his comments at the forum, Head of Awareness Unit, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Emeka Onuora, said that the micro pension scheme which would bring the informal sector into the pension scheme, would come with incentives that will make it flexible to operate.
He explained: “We want to include those who are on their own. We believe they should have time to retire, it doesn’t mean that when you work on your own you can’t retire. There is need to contribute something for pension before you retire.”