CEM REPORT, FOREIGN AFFAIRS | Over the weekend, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its counterpart in Ghana.
According to the Director-General of the Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, both nations are the largest markets in the West African sub-region noting that the agreement will foster market integration between both nations and provide better opportunities for economic prosperity.
“In addition to its inherent benefits, this revised MOU will usher in an era of strengthened strategic cooperation and mutual support in the regulation of our markets towards the ultimate objective of enhancing their efficiency, transparency, depth, strength and, indeed, global competitiveness.”
“The enduring relationship between our two jurisdictions is more amplified by the fact that Ghana and Nigeria both have the largest markets in the West African sub-region, and it will only be good foresightedness that we seize the advantage of our size and peculiarities, and explore viable areas of cooperation, even as we continue to work assiduously with other stakeholders to integrate our markets and provide greater opportunities for the economic prosperity of our peoples and our economies.”
Yuguda recalled that both countries had enjoyed a long period of progressive and mutually beneficial brotherhood and partnership with the same applying to both institutions, resulting in the first MoU in 2003.
He said that with the revised MoU, both countries had developed a robust and inclusive document that is all-encompassing and reflective of current trends, emphasising that the goal of the West African capital markets integration programme is the creation of an enabling environment for cross-border securities transactions and the integration of all capital markets jurisdictions in the ECOWAS region.
“It is worthy of note that this brotherhood, had in 2003, paved the way for the signing of the current MoU, which today we have come to renew and put to greater use.
“It will therefore be equally expected that we develop a tool of cooperation that enables our two institutions to effectively police our respective markets and ensure that the standards of regulation set out by IOSCO are sustained and, where possible, improved upon.
“However, without the readiness of all concerned, the lofty aims of the programme may as well continually remain a dream. It says unequivocally, this goal can only be achieved seamlessly when all member states of ECOWAS come on board and actively commit to achieving the noble objectives of the enhanced collaborative structure that these nature of agreements enable.”
The SEC DG stated that the agreement was promulgated in the spirit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) he added that both the SEC Ghana and SEC Nigeria, desirous of achieving these ideals, have taken the lead by example by driving this project in the sub-region while hopefully aiming to someday expand its coverage beyond the sub-regional frontiers onto other parts of the continent of Africa.
He expressed appreciation to other agencies like the African Development Bank towards the growth and integration of capital markets in the sub-region, adding that capital markets in the region are working with other institutions to ensure the provision of robust infrastructure in superintending over the capital market.
The DG of SEC Ghana, Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, said both securities commissions are ready to work together and develop the potential of the capital market by examining issues and exploring ways to resolve them to make the capital markets work better.
“This is a good framework that will benefit both countries and the sub-region. If you want to go far, it is better to go along with others, which is why we always discuss cooperation in the capital market. We had an MoU in 2003 which centred on collaboration and leveraging the potential of the capital markets in the sub-region. We are better off when we pull together to attain the potential of our capital markets.
“Some progress has been made in the past, but we are not yet where we want to be; we could do more. Ghana and Nigeria can push forward in ways that will bring about the mutual benefits of leveraging the capital market. We need to have our markets open to each other so that we can achieve more and attain one big capital market.”
He expressed delight at the collaboration and pledged SEC Ghana’s commitment to continue supporting the initiative.
“The MoU has been revised to accommodate new direction to strengthen bilateral relations and measures towards deepening and growing markets through exchanges. This is significant, and the Ghana SEC will be committed to playing our role to ensure that this MoU results in tangible benefits. We will put it into operation so that our capital market will be deepened and experience growth that will lead to economic development.
“We need to come closer and take deliberate steps to achieve bilateral cooperation. We are very keen on this relationship. There is a strong relationship between us, so we must continue to nurture and grow it and create institutions that will help our people have better living standards. I hope we can achieve a lot by bringing our capital markets together. We need to make our institutions stronger as well as our economic activities.
“We need this collaboration to make accessing our markets as seamless as possible, easy for people to transfer assets, make investments and have confidence that the investments are protected in Ghana as they are in Nigeria and vice versa.”